19:44 GMT +323 March 2019
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    NATO Membership Won't Prevent Turkey From Having Good Ties With Russia - Ankara

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Turkey's NATO membership will not stand in the way of it developing a good relationship with Russia, Volkan Bozkir, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, said Thursday.

    "Turkey can be a member of NATO… We have never been interested in our relations being in the same basket … Turkey can have excellent relations with Russia and Iran," Bozkir said at a joint meeting of the Russian Federation Council’s Committee on International Affairs and the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Turkish Grand National Assembly in Moscow.

    READ MORE: Ankara's Withdrawal From NATO Just a Matter of Time — Turkish Politician

    The official pointed out that Ankara "may wish" to become an observer in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as well as join potential economic blocs in Central Asia together with Russia.

    "We will never allow any of our relations to be the cause or the result of any hostile action," Bozkir added.

    Russian-Turkish relations have been actively developing since 2016 when the ties were revived after the 2015 crisis caused by the downing of a Russian Su-24 jet by a Turkish F-16 fighter in Syria.


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