Moscow-Ankara Rapprochement 'Is a Strong Signal to the West'

© Sputnik / Sergey Guneev / Go to the photo bankRussian President Vladimir Putin meets with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the Constantine Palace.
Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the Constantine Palace. - Sputnik International
Radio Sputnik discussed Russian-Turkish relations and the recent meeting between the leaders of the two countries with political expert Aydin Sezer and Turkish politician Nejat Kocer.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the Constantine palace in St. Petersburg - Sputnik International
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Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan pledged to restore economic relations between the two countries. The statement came after the two leaders met in Saint-Petersburg on August 9.

"Erdogan's rapprochement with Russia, of course, is a strong signal to the West," the head of the Turkish-Russian Research Center, Aydin Sezer, told Sputnik.

Although he believes that the thaw in Moscow-Ankara relations won't significantly affect Turkey's policy toward the US and the EU, he is confident that Ankara will change its strategy in the Syrian crisis.

"I think Turkey will have a chance to transform its foreign policy by following the Russian policy in Syria. Otherwise, Turkey will not be on the agenda and Turkish leaders know this very well. That is why yesterday Erdogan underlined before the summit that Russia is the most important actor in Syrian crisis," Sezer said.

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Relations between the two countries worsened drastically after Ankara shot down a Russian jet, which was on anti-terrorism mission in Syria. In June, President Erdogan sent a letter apologizing for the downing of the jet and expressed his condolences to the relatives of a pilot, who was killed by rebels after ejecting from his plane.

Prior to his visit to Russia, President Erdogan called President Putin his friend and noted that he wanted to open a new page in relations with Moscow. After the failed coup attempt in Turkey, Vladimir Putin expressed support for the Turkish leader and condemned the unlawful actions of the military.

"We have experienced a serious crisis in relations, but both sides have the will and the desire for a speedy overcoming of these negative tendencies and a return to pre-crisis cooperation. I witnessed this desire both by the Turkish and the Russian side. I think that yesterday's meeting will start active rehabilitation of close bilateral cooperation in all spheres — economy, tourism, energy policy," Turkish politician Nejat Kocer told Sputnik.

After Tuesday's meeting President Putin promised to lift sanctions against Ankara step by step. Both leaders announced the restart of two major energy projects — the Turkish Stream gas pipeline and the construction of Akkuyu nuclear power plant in Turkey.

"It was an extremely important, constructive and positive meeting that took place yesterday. The negotiations are of significant importance for the region, as the success in the development of Turkish-Russian trade, economic and political relationships can change the political order in the region for better," the politician noted.

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