09:02 GMT28 March 2020
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    Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan are holding a meeting in the Russian city of St. Petersburg on Tuesday.

    ST. PETERSBURG (Sputnik) — The two presidents, who began the talks with a handshake, are meeting for the first time since Turkey's downing of a Russian warplane in November 2015.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin said his Turkish counterpart's visit following the November 2015 downing of a Russian aircraft by Turkey speaks to efforts to renew dialogue.

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in the Russian city of St. Petersburg for the first talks to reset bilateral relations earlier in the day.

    “Your visit today, despite the very difficult political situation in Turkey, says that we all want to resume our dialogue, rapprochement in the interests of the peoples of Turkey and Russia,” Putin said at the start of talks.

    Ankara and Moscow ended seven months of strained relations in late June when Erdogan wrote a letter to Putin in which he apologized for the incident in November.

    Putin said despite "very low, degraded" relations between the countries after the Su-24 downing, ties between Russia and Turkey have reached "unprecedented levels" in recent years.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin said he would discuss the full range of bilateral issues with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan during their Tuesday meeting.

    "We will have the opportunity today to discuss…the full range of our relations, including the restoration of economic ties, anti-terrorism cooperation," Putin said.


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