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Monday, March 12, 2018

Putin and Erdogan began the dialogue with a clean sheet

If someone expected that Erdogan is adjacent to Russia to personally apologize for downed in November last year, he was badly mistaken. The Turkish leader arrived in St. Petersburg after the first coup attempt foreign visit, apparently, relished the famous Russian proverb – “those who remember his past, that bygones”.

photo: kremlin.ru

It has long been the visit of the foreign leader did not cause such a stir. A long string of journalists lined up to check point of the Constantine Palace for more than two hours before the start of talks between Putin and Erdogan. According to the Kremlin’s press service, their coverage is 140 accredited media representatives not only Russian and Turkish, but also the BBC, Reuters, Bloomberg, al Jazeera, AFP, al-Arabiya, and so on. Nothing to do journalists took pictures of each other and the surroundings of Strelna (Turks especially amused by the words “SEA”, mounted in front covered with gray clouds of the Gulf of Finland) and was looking for a plane Erdogan on the website Flaytradar. “Crossed the border! – they encouraged each other – close to Kolpino! Left quite a bit!”

In the Konstantinovsky Palace of many rooms, with those names – for example, a theatre hall, a living room of Minerva, living room Satyrs… For the meeting of the two leaders also took space with meaning – the Greek living, reminiscent of the tendency of the Turks to conflicts, and not only with Russia. Due to the delay Erdogan’s Vladimir Putin crossed the threshold of her an hour later than it was scheduled at 14.00. For some time he stood alone in the middle, tensely staring at the ceiling, and not paying attention to begin to “fire” photographers. In a low voice talking, in walked the Minister of foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov and Putin aide on foreign policy Yuri Ushakov played according to the Turkish media a key role in bringing the two leaders. Ushakov laid on the table of cards with useful information and abstracts, which usually uses GDP in the negotiations. But Putin did not react. He was very focused. And, apparently, wondering in my mind the options will behave as Erdogan? Once called this morning in an interview with “our dear friend Vladimir”? Rush to hug? Apologize? Or will pretend that nothing happened? Right in the end turned out to be the last option, and, frankly, is hardly surprised Vladimir Putin.

About the incident with SU-24 the Turkish leader has not said a word. He didn’t apologize, and didn’t even regret it. According to Erdogan that Russian-Turkish relations has entered in a positive direction. And this meeting is necessary first of all to give them a boost. “I am confident that the steps that we take, we’ll start expanding even more the process,” – clumsy translated Turkish guest translator. However, we must pay tribute to Vladimir Putin – he is also not pressing the issue of the quarrel and only briefly mentioned the reasons. “After the tragedy, which killed our soldiers in November last year, our relationship has slipped to very low levels, degraded,” stated a known fact the Russian President.

Much more likely, the two leaders spoke about a failed coup in Turkey that precipitated this meeting (initially it was to be held on the sidelines of the summit of “big twenty” in China). GDP recalled that he was one of the first to call erdoğan to Express his support “to overcome the political crisis.” “This is our principled position: we are categorically against any attempts of unconstitutional actions”, – said the Russian President, I Want to Express my hope that under your leadership the constitutional order and lawfulness are restored.” This expression of solidarity, according to Erdogan, Turkey is very pleased – and especially the Turkish people. “You expect a lot in political terms. I believe that our cooperation will contribute to the resolution of many problems in the region,” he said.

Public exchange of pleasantries, leave no doubt: a black page in Russian-Turkish relations are inverted, Ankara and Moscow are ready to start a dialogue with a clean sheet, leaving the fields of mutual offences and claims. Erdogan brought with him a large delegation, which included Ministers of economy, agriculture, transport, tourism, energy and natural resources, and the Director of national intelligence and the Secretary for the defense industry. When the number of “MK” was sent to the press, negotiations were still ongoing. However, Mr. Erdogan is not a bit of doubt in their positive outcome: at the meeting with Putin, he announced that Turkey would be happy for the rest of the year to host a Council of high level cooperation led by leaders of the two countries. The convocation of the Council will mean that Turkish-Russian relations finally returned to a state of “business as usual”, and who remember his past, the one – eyes out.

Relations between Russia and Turkey. Chronicle of events

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