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    PRESIDENT PUTIN SATISFIED WITH RUSSIAN-TURKISH RELATIONS

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    MOSCOW, February 24, 2004. (RIA Novosti). Relations between Russia and Turkey are acquiring a stable format, including in fighting terrorism. This was stated by President of Russsia Vladimir Putin at a meeting with Foreign Minister of Turkey Abdullah Gul on Tuesday.

    "After coming to power of Prime Minister Erdogan, our relations have acquired stable format, including in such sensible sphere as fighting terrorism, the Russian President said.

    "The Russian-Turkish relations are developing at a good pace and quite positively. We are satisfied with how our relations are developing," Putin said.

    According to him, the official trade turnover between the two states is growing annually by 15-20 percent. "Today it makes up about $6.5 billion. If revenues from tourism and the so-called shuttle trade are taken into account the total volume of our trade will be nearing $12 billion," Putin pointed out.

    Vladimir Putin noted that Russia is the second major trade partner of Turkey ceding only to Germany. He expressed confidence that during the Moscow visit the parties will manage to discuss a host of issues.

    In his turn Gul also praised the high level of relations between the two states. The current period is characterized by the fact that both Turkey and Russia have responsible leaders at the helm," Gul said. According to him, stability is reigning on the territory of Russia and as for Turkey, it highly assesses the contribution of Moscow to maintaining peace.

    Gul also said that Turkey thinks highly of Russia's support during the national-liberation war, as well as Russia's contribution to the development of Turkish industry in the first years after the creation of the young Turkish state. "Especially tangible was Russia's contribution in the 1970's through its big investments into creation in our country of the aluminium sector and the glass industry. It is from Russia that we had obtained new up-to-date technologies," Gul stressed.

    He made a it point saying that these investments were received in exchange for supplies of agricultural produce

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