MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday interstate ties between Russia and Turkey were being restored fast.
"We are very much pleased that our interstate ties are being restored at a very fast pace… Trade and economic relations are also being restored. Yesterday, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev informed his Turkish counterpart about additional measures and steps aimed at restoration of our economic relations in the full-format mode," Putin said opening talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Russia and Turkey are actively working to resolve crises in the world, including in Syria, according to Putin.
"We are actively working to resolve the most acute crises in the world, first of all, of course, in Syria," Putin said. "I am very much pleased to note that… such confidential and very effective contact is being established between the military departments and special services."
After a long period of dynamic development, bilateral cooperation went downhill after the Turkish Air Force downed a Russian military aircraft in the Syrian air space on November 24, 2015. For seven months bilateral ties were virtually frozen. In June 2016 in a message to the Russian president the Turkish president expressed his desire to normalize relations and apologized for the death of the Russian pilot. Erdogan also emphasized his readiness to do everything for normalizing the traditionally friendly relations between Turkey and Russia, to jointly react to regional crises and to counter terrorism.
As a follow-up to the agreements reached by the presidents the foreign ministers of Russia and Turkey held a working meeting in Sochi on July 1, 2016.
On August 9, 2016, Putin and Erdogan met in St. Petersburg for the first time since the crisis in bilateral relations. At the meeting they agreed to restore cooperation in all areas.
Turkey is one of Russia’s main foreign trade partners. According to customs statistics, in 2015 Russia’s foreign trade with Turkey amounted to $23.3 billion – a decrease by 26.1 percent compared to 2014. Exports amounted to $19.3 billion (a reduction by 22.5 percent) and imports to $4 billion (a drop by 39.4 percent).
Russia primarily exports to Turkey mineral products (65.1 percent), metals and metal goods (19 percent). Imports are as follows: machines, equipment and transport vehicles – 33 percent; food products and agricultural raw materials – 27 percent; textiles and textile goods and footwear 16.3 percent and chemical products – 10.6 percent.