20:02 GMT +317 August 2019
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    Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan shake hands (File)

    Moscow Seeks to Restore Ties With Ankara to Level Before Su-24 Incident

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    Moscow aims to restore all the best that was in economic relations with Ankara before the incident with Russia's downed Su-24 in November last year, Russian Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said Tuesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Turkish delegation headed by Deputy Prime Minister Nurettin Canikli arrived in the Russian capital earlier in the day for a two-day visit, aimed at finding ways to increase cooperation in the fields of energy, food, agriculture, tourism, transportation and foreign trade.

    "The past seven month were challenging for our businessesm <…> We aim to restore all the best that existed before November," Ulyukaev said at a joint press conference with Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci in Moscow before departing for bilateral negotiations.

    On Monday, Ulyukayev said that no agenda was agreed beforehand, but supposed that talks would include such topics as tourism and lifting restrictions on imports of Turkish food products.

    Another topic at Tuesday’s meeting may be the establishment of a joint investment fund. The work on the fund project and on a possible preferential agreement on the liberalization of the services and investment regime started more than a year ago but was later suspended.

    Turkey and Russia ended seven months of tensions in late June when Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had written a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin, apologizing for the downing of a Russian Su-24 attack aircraft by a Turkish jet in November 2015 over Syria and extending his condolences to the family of the pilot killed in the incident.

    By apologizing for the incident, Ankara fulfilled Moscow’s condition for restoring the long-term partnership between the two countries. Erdogan's letter also said that a legal case has been opened against a Turkish citizen suspected of involvement in the death of the downed plane’s pilot, which was another precondition for the normalization of relations. Putin subsequently lifted the ban on charter flights to Turkey and instructed the government to negotiate a revival of trade with Ankara.

    On July 22, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree on the restoring of the Russian-Turkish economic cooperation commission's work. Moscow is bringing back the talks with Turkey regarding the 2016-2019 trade cooperation program.

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    bilateral ties, Alexei Ulyukayev, Nihat Zeybekci, Turkey, Russia
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