23:43 GMT27 January 2021
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    Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia has decided to resume charter flights to Turkey.

    The Russian president made the announcement at a joint press conference with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan following a lengthy meeting between the two leaders, which took place in St. Petersburg.

    “We have looked at the option of resuming our charter flights between Russia and Turkey, I think this is a matter of time,” Putin said at a press conference.

    “Late last month we lifted the ban on selling travel tours to Turkey to Russian customers. The most important objective here is for Turkey to ensure security for Russian tourists, and we have received such guarantees,” he stressed.

    Russia's president also noted that visa regime issues between the two countries must be resolved in order to further Russian-Turkish economic ties.

    “Visa issues should be addressed, because one way or another they relate to economic cooperation,” Putin said.

    The Russian president said that the Turkish side had stressed that economic issues arose due to visa restrictions in the transport sector.

    "We must bear this all in mind to unblock the issues of economic interaction," Putin said.

    This meeting is the first since the tragic downing of Russia's Su-24 in November 2015.

    The meeting in Russia’s second-largest city is focused on the restoration of relations with Turkey, as 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.

    Following Erdogan's move, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree lifting restrictions on Russian citizens travel to Turkey, specifically a ban on charter flights to the country and selling tour packages to Turkey.


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    charter flights, Vladimir Putin, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey, Russia
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