03:46 GMT +311 December 2019
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    Russia, Turkey Have No 'Taboo Topics,' Joint Projects to Boost Cooperation

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    The partnership between Moscow and Ankara has reached the level where no taboo topics remain, while the joint projects in various spheres will contribute to further development of bilateral cooperation, Russian ambassador to Turkey Alexey Yerkhov said Tuesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — He noted that the joint projects largely contributed to the relations between the two countries.

    "Our mutually beneficial partnership with Turkey has reached a point where the are no more taboo topics for us. That is why all spheres are open to us, and, hopefully, we will witness very interesting developments, maybe, in the sphere that you mentioned as well," Yerkhov told journalists, when asked about the perspectives of military and technical cooperation between Russia and Turkey.

    "If we take Turkish Stream, if we take the project of constructing Akkuyu nuclear power plant, if we take other achievements in trade, economy and investment, all of this is a very solid basis for the whole spectrum of our bilateral relations," Yerkhov said.

    Yerkhov added that the countries should pay special attention to industry cooperation, joint researches in science, technology and industry sectors. He also noted that he was rather optimistic about achieving the ambitious goal of $100 billion bilateral trade turnover, which was set by Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2014.

    "I think that the achievement of this ambitious goal is possible, if we consider not only trade itself, but the full range of trade and economic cooperation in general," Yerkhov said.

    Russian-Turkish relations deteriorated after the downing of a Russian military plane by a Turkish fighter jet in Syria on November 24, 2015. Moscow imposed a number of restrictive measures on Turkey in response to what Putin then described as a "stab in the back." Reconciliation process between the countries began in June 2016 after Turkey has apologized for the incident.

    The Turkish Stream project was announced in the end of 2014 by Russian President Vladimir Putin on his state visit to Turkey. On October 10, 2016, Russia and Turkey signed an intergovernmental agreement on the Turkish Stream project. South Stream Transport is the operator of the pipeline's construction. The document stipulates the construction of two strings of the main gas pipeline along the bottom of the Black Sea with the annual capacity of 15.75 billion cubic meters of gas each.

    In May 2010, Moscow and Ankara signed the intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the field of construction and operation of the Akkuyu NPP in southern Turkey. The NPP’s four power units of 1,200 megawatt (MW) each are expected to produce about 35 billion kilowatt-hours per year. The total amount of Russian investments in the project will be $22 billion. Akkuyu is the world's first nuclear power plant project implemented on BOO ("build-own-operate") basis. In accordance with this model, Russia will build, own and operate the plant. Turkey expects the first unit of Akkuyu NPP to be launched on October 29, 2023, the centennial anniversary of Turkish Republic.

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    relations, Turkish Stream gas pipeline, Russia, Turkey
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