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Russia, Turkey: good relations in trade, lesser understanding in politics 30 novembre 2012

Posted by Acturca in Economy / Economie, Energy / Energie, Middle East / Moyen Orient, Russia / Russie, Turkey / Turquie.
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Voice of Russia, November 30, 2012

Stanislav Tarasov

Russian media sources say that President Vladimir Putin has worked out the schedule of his visits to other countries till the end of the year. On December 3, he will meet with Turkey’s Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan.

Initially, this visit was planned for October 14 and 15, but it was postponed because Russia and Turkey had not reached a number of agreements concerning both the two countries’ relations and problems of the world policy by that time.

“What is the current state of Russian-Indian relations?”, the Voice of Russia asked political analyst Stanislav Tarasov.

“The last time when Mr. Putin and Mr. Erdogan met personally was in Moscow in June,” Mr. Tarasov says. “Then, the sides agreed that further development of relations between Russia and Turkey would be beneficial for both. The two leaders were satisfied with the fact that the volume of trade between their countries reached $ 35 bln a year, but said that it would be quite possible to increase it to $ 100 bln or even $ 150 bln a year. Thus, it is only logical that at the coming meeting in Istanbul, Mr. Putin and Mr. Erdogan will first of all discuss issues of economic cooperation and cooperation in the sphere of energy. One of Russia’s ambitious projects is to build a gas pipeline from Russia to Europe across the Black Sea (this project is known as “The South Stream”). Because a part of the Black Sea’s territory belongs to Turkey, it would have been impossible to reach an international agreement concerning the pipeline’s construction without Turkey’s participation.”

Besides economic cooperation, the Russian President and the Turkish Prime Minister will most likely discuss the situation in the Middle East – first of all, the conflict in Syria. During his meeting with Mr. Putin in June, Mr. Erdogan said that his country backs the decisions concerning how to solve the Syrian conflict, which were taken at an international meeting in Geneva in June 2012 (as it is known, Turkey signed the resolution adopted at this meeting). But now, Turkey’s authorities do not rule out that Turkey may start a military operation in Syria.

After it became known that Turkey may interfere in the Syrian conflict with force, President Putin had several phone talks with Prime Minister Erdogan, in which he said that Russia is against this. Recently, information appeared that Turkey wants to deploy “Patriot” missiles at its border with Syria, which also caused sharp criticism from Russia. So, Mr. Putin’s coming dialogue with Mr. Erdogan will most likely not be easy.

However, Dr. Mesut Hakkı Casın, a university professor in Istanbul, believes that for all the differences in their approach towards the Syrian problem, Russia and Turkey still have a chance to reach an agreement over this issue.

Dr. Casin’s opinion is shared by some other Turkish political analysts as well. The newspaper “Hurriyet” writes that after the end of the Cold War, Turkey and Russia have achieved too much success in their relations to let these relations now be spoiled because of the two countries’ different approaches to the Syrian problem. The editor-in-chief of another Turkish newspaper, “Milli Gazete”, Mustafa Kurdas, writes that if the Russian-Turkish relations aggravate, this may aggravate the situation in the entire Middle East, if not the entire world. He believes that Russia and Turkey should try their best to overcome any misunderstandings concerning the Syrian issue.

From the point of view of mutual trade, Russia is Turkey’s largest partner, and Turkey is Russia’s fourth largest partner. Let us hope that this circumstance will prevent Russia’s and Turkey’s leaders from letting the relations between their countries aggravate.

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Russia-Turkey trade may reach $35bln in 2012 – ambassador

Itar-Tass World Service (Russia)

November 30, 2012, Ankara

Bilateral trade between Russia and Turkey will reach $34-35 billion this year, Russian ambassador to Turkey Vladimir Ivanovsky told reporters ahead of President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Istanbul.

Putin will take part in a meeting of the High-Level Cooperation Council.

“Despite a rather difficult economic situation we hope that the trade turnover will reach $34-35 billion, judging by the results of the last ten months. Thus, it will increase by 12-14 percent as against 2011,” Ivanovsky said.

“Over the last five years Russia’s accumulated investments in Turkey have totaled around $3 billion and Turkey’s investments in Russia – around $4.5 billion,” he said.

The diplomat focused on a number of large-scale projects that Russia has been implementing in Turkey, in particular the construction of the Turkey’s first nuclear power plant in Akkuyu.

“We hope that next spring, summer we will get all necessary licenses to start work on the plant’s project. This project envisages large-scale participation of Turkey’s construction companies,” the ambassador said.

Ivanovsky recalled that at present, 400 Turkish students, who will be engaged in the construction of the nuclear power plant, undergo training in Russia.

“Thus, Turkey will get highly skilled specialists,” he said.

Speaking about the two countries’ cooperation in tourism he noted that by the end of the year the influx of Russian tourists to Turkey may reach 3.5 million, up by 3 percent as against 2011.

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