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    Turkey Guarantees Safety During Football Match With Russia

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    The Turkish authorities guarantee safety and security at an upcoming football match between Turkey and Russia, Russian Sports Minister and Head of the Football Union of Russia (RFS) Vitaly Mutko said on Monday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Wednesday, Turkey's Antalya will host a friendly match between the Russian and Turkish national football teams. According to media reports, over 2,000 Russian fans are expected to be present at the event.

    "The relations with the Turkish side are being stabilized, the flight restrictions are being removed. All the safety guarantees in respect of the Russia-Turkey match have been given by the Turkish authorities. I also have plans to visit [the match]. I think that everything will be fine," Mutko told reporters.

    In late July, reports emerged in Turkish media that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan planned to invite Russian leader Vladimir Putin to attend the game. According to the reports, the match was also aimed at restoring relations between the two countries, which were undermined by a downing of a Russian plane by Ankara last year.

    Earlier this month, media reported that Putin might fly to Turkey to visit the match, but the Kremlin refuted the claims and said the president would be "rooting from home."

    On Sunday, the Russian government officially signed a decree on lifting the existing restrictions on charter flights to Turkey. However, the government recommended Russian airlines to boost security measures. Charter flights between Russia and Turkey had been suspended following the downing of a Russian Su-24 plane by the Turkish Air Force over Syria in November 2015.

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