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Putin meets Erdogan, restoring ties needs time

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Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met today for first time in St. Petersburg since the downing of a Russian warplane last November over airspace violation. The meeting was of major significance for further relations between Russia and Turkey.

Turkey and Russia are determined to boost ties to levels beyond what they were before last November's jet crisis.

"We had a substantial and, I would like to stress, constructive conversation on the entire spectrum of bilateral ties, and on the international agenda," Putin said after the talks.

Putin said the priority was to “turn back to before the crisis era” but warned restoring ties “needs time”.

Erdogan said, “I am of the opinion that the public of both countries expected this from us. That’s why, at the end of the meetings today, we have taken decisions to move Turkey-Russia relations to the levels they must be in political, financial, cultural and humanitarian fields.”

The Russian leader thanked his Turkish counterpart for an open conversation and stressed that Russia and Turkey have all the possibilities to resume normal, full-format relations. "Russia is ready for such work," he underscored.

Russia intends to lift restrictions on Turkish companies gradually, Vladimir Putin added.

Resumption of charter service with Turkey is a matter of the near future as Ankara has given security guarantees for Russian tourists, Vladimir Putin said after talks with his Turkish counterpart.

He said the restoration of Russia’s tourist flow to the pre-crisis level is a matter of time. Thus, he reminded, the ban on sales of travel packages to that country was lifted already in late June. "The most important thing is to have guarantees of that maximum security of Russian tourists from the Turkish side and we have received such guarantees from our partners," Putin said.

"In this context, we looked at possible resumption of charter air service, which is actually a matter of the near future," the Russian leader stressed.

Source: Tass, AA

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