Russia's President Vladimir Putin (L) and Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan shake hands during a meeting in Konstantin Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia, on August 9, 2016.Konstantin Zavrazhin/RG
Russian and Turkish presidents Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan held the first talks on August 9 after the 8-month freeze in bilateral relations following the downing of a Russian jet last November.
Ahead of the talks in the Constantine Palace in Strelna on the outskirts of St. Petersburg the two leaders shook their hands and ensured each other at the meeting of plans to work on restoring the Russian-Turkish relations.
Opening the meeting, Putin said Russia and Turkey expect to restore relations. The Russian leader noted that the bilateral Russian-Turkish relations had reached a very high level in previous years. "However, after the well-known tragedy that claimed the life of our military service member last November, they have degraded reaching a low-point."
"Your current visit, despite the very difficult political situation in Turkey, shows that we all want to resume our dialogue and restore relations for the sake of the interests of the Turkish and Russian peoples," Putin told Erdogan.
The Turkish president thanked his Russian counterpart for arranging the meeting. "Thank you for a chance to meet with you as the Turkish-Russian relations are indeed put on a positive track," Erdogan said.
The leaders agreed to discuss a whole range of issues concerning both the two countries and the whole region.
"We will have an opportunity today to talk both in the narrow and broad format on the whole range of our relations, including on restoring trade and economic ties, cooperation in the sphere of fighting against terrorism," Putin said adding that he is "very glad about this opportunity."
Erdogan said he is convinced that the cooperation of Russia and Turkey will contribute to dealing with many problems. "We have a lot of issues on the agenda concerning bilateral relations and their development," he said. "The region expects us to make many political decisions," he told Putin.
"I believe that our cooperation will make a sizeable contribution to solving many problems in the region," Erdogan said.
Erdogan also invited Russian colleagues for another meeting of the High-Level Russian-Turkish Cooperation Council led by the presidents of the two countries and consisting of almost all key ministers. It is expected to be held in 2017.
The presidents also mentioned the coup attempt that occurred in Turkey in July.
Russia categorically stands against any attempts of unconstitutional actions such as an attempted coup d’etat in Turkey, Putin said at a meeting with Erdogan.
Putin noted he had been among the first to call the Turkish president and express his support for overcoming the internal political crisis provoked by the attempted coup d’etat.
"This is our principled position: we always stand against any attempts of unconstitutional actions," the Russian leader said. Putin said he hoped that the Turkish people led by Erdogan "will cope with this problem and the constitutional law and order will be restored."
Erdogan thanked the Russian counterpart for his support. "Indeed, your call shortly after the coup attempt made me personally and my colleagues, and our people very happy," Erdogan said.
A rally in support of democracy on August 7 showed that the Turkish people are against any attempts of coups d’etat, he added.
Putin and Erdogan met for the first time after the 8-month freeze in bilateral relations following the downing of the Russian Su-24 bomber by the Turkish Air Force in November 2015.
Russia demanded apologies and compensations for the downed jet as well as punishment for those guilty. Moscow halted contacts with Ankara and also introduced a ban on the supplies of Turkish goods to Russia, hiring Turkish citizens in Russia and also performing charter flights.
In July, Erdogan sent a letter to Putin offering apologies for the incident.
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