Turkish Economy Minister Plans to Raise Trade With Russia to $100Bln

© AP Photo / Lefteris PitarakisTurkish flag flies at the refugee camp for Syrian refugees in Islahiye, Gaziantep province, southeastern Turkey,Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Turkish flag flies at the refugee camp for Syrian refugees in Islahiye, Gaziantep province, southeastern Turkey,Wednesday, March 16, 2016 - Sputnik International
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The goal to increase the volume of bilateral trade between Moscow and Ankara up to $100 billion is still on the agenda, Turkish Minister of Economy Nihat Zeybekci told Sputnik on Wednesday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan shake hands (File) - Sputnik International
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) — In December 2013, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish then Prime Minister and incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced their plans to boost bilateral trade to $100 billion from about $33 billion in 2013. The goal has been repeatedly reconfirmed before the deterioration of bilateral relations in 2015.

"Of course, yes. It is impossible to abandon this goal," Zeybekci said, answering a question about the relevance of the plans to boost trade turnover with Russia to $100 billion.

He added that it was necessary to mend ties with Moscow and to fix the inflicted damage in the bilateral relations.

Nihat Zeybekci also said that he was planning to pay visits to Russia and Belarus.

"In the nearest time we are planning to hold a meeting [with Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev] Maybe it will take place in Kazan or Moscow. [Turkish] President [Recep Tayyip Erdogan] is expected to visit Belarus, it is likely that I will come to Moscow ahead of [Erdogan's visit] and will head off to Belarus then," Zeybekci said.

Zeybekci added that he had maintained regular phone contacts with Ulyukayev before.

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Relations between Moscow and Ankara deteriorated when the Russian Su-24 attack aircraft was shot on November 24, 2015, by a Turkish fighter near the Turkish border in Syria. Following the incident, Russia imposed a number of restrictive measures on Turkey and has repeatedly said that Ankara should apologize for downing the plane and cover any associated material losses to the country and the pilot's family.

On June 27, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Erdogan in a letter addressed to Putin apologized over the downing of the Su-24 aircraft and extended condolences to the family of the pilot killed in the incident.

By doing so Ankara fulfilled one of the conditions put forward by Moscow following the incident that paralyzed the long-term partnership between the two countries. The letter also said legal proceedings were underway against the Turkish citizen allegedly involved in the Russian pilot’s death – another condition named by Russia in order to restore severed ties.

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