05:31 GMT +313 December 2018
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    Friends Again? Russia, Turkey Mull Restart of Joint Energy Projects

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    In an interview with Radio Sputnik Hüseyin Şahin, deputy chairman of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), commented on the normalization of ties with Russia, his party’s foreign policy strategy and the prospects of cooperation with Moscow.

    “Our countries are major players in the region and the ongoing process of normalization started by our President’s letter [of apologies to Russia] has been met with enthusiasm among our politicians, businessmen and just about everybody else,” Hüseyin Şahin said.

    He added that the AKP was holding out for close cooperation and solidarity with Russia.

    “Countries do not have eternal friends or eternal enemies; they only have eternal interests that never change. Our foreign policy is aimed at resolving differences in relations with other countries and promoting cooperation with them. We see our neighbors as friends and always try to strengthen across-the-board ties between us.”

    “I’m sure that our process of normalization will be fast and productive. Britain’s decision to exit the EU, Russia’s relations with Germany and the US, their contacts with Turkey – all this has set the stage for our rapprochement with Russia. I’m optimistic about the future of our bilateral contacts,” Hüseyin Şahin emphasized.

    Speaking about the impact this normalization of ties could have on the energy cooperation between the two countries, he mentioned such major projects as the Turkish Stream and the Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline

    “Russia is a country with vast natural resources, while Turkey is a bridge connecting Europe with Africa and the Middle East. We want to benefit from this. I’m certain that by restoring ties our two countries will be able to gain much by promoting our mutually-beneficial energy cooperation,” Hüseyin Şahin noted.

    He said that he expected work on the Turkish Stream gas pipeline to resume shortly because every such joint project cemented economic ties and mutual trust between its participants.

    “I believe that the shared desire for a compromise demonstrated by Presidents Erdogan and Putin will result in a more efficient cooperation between our two countries which, in turn, will have a positive impact on relations between other nations as well,” Hüseyin Şahin said in conclusion.


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    European Union, positive impact, energy cooperation, joint projects, normalization, Justice and Development Party (AKP), Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Vladimir Putin, Hüseyin Şahin, Turkey
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