Russia ready to normalise ties with Turkey, says Putin

Moscow, June 29: Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday said Moscow was ready to restore its bilateral ties with Turkey. Putin agreed on the decision over a phone conversation with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and both the leaders also agreed to consider the possibility of a face-to-face meeting in the near future, Xinhua news agency reported.

The phone call between the two sides came after Erdogan sent an apology letter to Putin on Monday over the downing of a Russian warplane in November 2015, voicing his readiness to mend ties after the incident on November 23.

Putin over the phone said the message created preconditions for turning the “crisis page” in bilateral relations and beginning the process of resuming collaboration on intertiol and regiol issues as well as on the development of the entire range of Russian-Turkish relations.

He expressed hope that the judicial investigation of a Turkish citizen allegedly responsible for the death of a Russian pilot of the downed plane would be objective.

Putin said he had instructed the government to start negotiations with Turkish authorities to restore cooperation in trade, economy and other areas.

Moscow also planned to lift restrictions for Russian tourists travelling to Turkey, provided the Turkish government takes additiol steps to ensure the security of Russian citizens, he added.

Putin also expressed condolences over Tuesday’s terrorist attack at Istanbul’s Kamal Ataturk airport, which claimed at least 41 lives and left 239 others injured, adding both sides emphasised the need to intensify intertiol cooperation in the fight against the common threat of terrorism.

Foreign Ministers of both countries are scheduled to meet on Friday in the Russian resort of Sochi at a meeting of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organisation to discuss the further development of Russian-Turkish relations. (IANS)