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    Russia-Turkey Cooperation to Intensify Despite Western Sanctions: Official

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    Ahmet Berat Conkar, member of the Turkish Justice and Development Party stated that Ankara is looking forward to expanding cooperation with Russia despite Western sanctions imposed against Moscow.

    MOSCOW, November 28 (Sputnik) — Ankara is looking forward to expanding cooperation with Russia despite Western sanctions imposed against Moscow over the Ukrainian crisis, a Turkish politician told Sputnik on Friday.

    "It is well-known that the positions of Russia and Turkey with regard to some issues differ. However, it does not mean that Turkey should support western sanctions… Our relations in the area of tourism, the introduction of a visa-free regime, rapprochement of our nations – all of the above needs to be developed despite conflicts between Russia and the West," Ahmet Berat Conkar, a member of the Turkish Justice and Development Party said.

    "For us, it is primarily important that development of a humanitarian, trade, economic and political partnership with Russia is in our own interest," Conkar, who is also the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey added.

    The Turkish politician also expressed hope that western countries would be able to think and behave objectively, and try to understand Russia's actions, adding that the West would benefit from it.

    "We consider sanctions against Russia as inappropriate and destructive. We have not joined them, and won't allow them to negatively affect our growing ties with Russia," he concluded.

    Over the past few months, several rounds of sanctions have been introduced against Russia by the European Union, the United States and their allies over Russia's alleged involvement in the Ukrainian crisis — a claim Moscow has repeatedly denied. The sanctions particularly target defense, energy and banking sectors of the Russian economy.

    Moscow has stated that the sanctions "threaten international peace and stability" and run counter to the principles of international law.

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