Turkey has major problems neither with Russia nor with EU - Ankara

In Turkey’s foreign policies there are no contradictions regarding relations either with Russia, or with EU

In Turkey’s foreign policies there are no contradictions regarding relations either with Russia, or with the European Union, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in Antalya on July 3.

"Our foreign policy does not have contradictions," he said. "Correct, on one hand - EU, on the other - Russia, but we can continue development relations with them all. Those two directions are not alternative or competing."

The relations with Russia and EU "will develop on the basis of Turkey’s interests," and Ankara "does not have major problems either with EU or with Russia," the foreign minister said.

"Recently [on June 30] in Brussels, we have opened a new chapter of the negotiations process [on joining EU] and overcome a big distance in the issue related to lifting the visa requirements. After that, we visited Russia, where we met with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov," he said.

"The meeting with Lavrov was very useful," he continued. "We have discussed how we should achieve the objectives outlined by our presidents. Our ministers will have meetings, and the leaders will meet. We have agreed a roadmap."

The two foreign ministers had a meeting on July 1 at a ministerial meeting of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC). The key topics discussed were improvement of bilateral relations, which had been failed after the downing of the Russian Sukhoi Su-24 on Nov. 24, 2015. The meeting was possible as on June 27 press secretary of the Russian president, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters President Tayyip Erdogan sent Russian President Vladimir Putin a message in which he apologized for the downed Su-24 plane and "underscored the readiness to do everything possible for restoration of the traditionally friendly relations between Turkey and Russia."

On June 29, the presidents had a telephone conversation - first in past seven months, where they agreed to consider a meeting. After the conversation, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin ordered the government to begin discussions with Ankara for resuming cooperation in trade and other spheres.

The Turkish Air Force’s F-16 fighter on November 24, 2015 shot down a Russian Sukhoi Su-24M bomber, involved in Russia's antiterrorism operation in Syria, that Ankara claimed violated the country’s airspace on the border with Syria.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said the Su-24M was above Syrian territory and "there was no violation of Turkey’s airspace." Pilot Oleg Peshkov was killed by militants from the ground after ejecting, the second pilot was rescued and taken to the Russian base. The incident resulted in the severing of nearly all trade and economic ties between the two countries. Ankara refused to apologize for the downed jet and death of the pilot. Moscow put the blame for the incident on the Turkish authorities.

Source: Tass.com

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