Russian President Vladimir Putin.Kremlin.ru
Russian President Vladimir Putin has regretted the exacerbation of relations between Russia and Turkey and said that Moscow has repeatedly raised the question of terrorists coming from that country in its contacts with Turkey.
"I think all of us regret this, and I personally regret this because I personally have been doing a lot for building these relations for a long period of time," Putin said at a press conference in Paris.
"There are problems which occurred a long time ago and we have tried to resolve them in dialogue with our Turkish partners," he said. "For instance, we pointed out long ago that members of terrorist organizations who were fighting and tried to fight us in certain regions of Russia, including the North Caucasus, showed up in Turkey. We asked for stopping such practice," the Russian president said.
Nevertheless, "we are still observing such practice, they [terrorists] are staying in the territory of Turkey, in regions protected by security services and the police and then use the visa-free travel regime to reappear in our territory," he said.
"The problem was long overdue, and we raised that question many times at the level of security services using the so-called partner channels, and at the level of the foreign ministries, at the summit political level," Putin said.
"We did not see partners' reaction to every our concern. So a number of questions which needed a solution one way or another were long overdue," the Russian president said.
"It is a pity that we have to resolve them under such circumstances. Yet this is not our fault. This is not our choice," he said.
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