Putin signals warming relations with Turkey

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has said Moscow is making “sincere efforts” to restore all ties with Turkey, which he described as a “friend,” following months of diplomatic tension.

“We are sincerely making an effort for the re-establishing of our relations in all dimensions with Turkey, which is our friend and with which we have cooperated for many years,” Putin said during a meeting with Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev in Sochi on Aug. 16. He also added that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s recent visit to Russia showed both sides’ desire to carry on a comprehensive work to revive bilateral relations, according to Hurriyet Daily Newspaper.

Putin thanked Nazarbayev for his behind-the-scenes efforts to help mend Turkey-Russia relations, about which Nazarbayev expressed his appreciation. Erdoğan met his Russian counterpart Putin on Aug. 9 in St. Petersburg, marking the first meeting between the two leaders since Turkey’s downing of a Russian warplane last November.

Ties between the two countries soured after the downing of a Russian jet that violated Turkey’s airspace on the Syrian border in November 2015. The issue started to be resolved on June 29 through a letter and subsequent telephone calls between the countries’ leaders.

On June 30, Russia lifted a ban on tourist flights to Turkey following a phone conversation between Putin and Erdoğan. Turkish and Russian foreign ministers later met in Sochi on July 1. Putin subsequently gave his support to Turkey over the July 15 failed coup attempt, saying he stood by the elected government, offering his condolences to the victims of what Erdoğan called the “most heinous” armed coup attempt in modern Turkish history. On July 22, Russia also lifted restrictions on flights to Turkey, which had been implemented temporarily following the coup attempt, after Turkish officials assured their Russian counterparts that additional security measures were being taken.

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