Meeting of High-Level Russian-Turkish Cooperation Council
November 22, 2013, 15:50 St Petersburg
Vladimir Putin took part in the fourth meeting of the High-Level Russian-Turkish Cooperation Council.
The main subjects on the agenda included trade and economic cooperation and humanitarian ties between the two
countries, and the implementation of strategic joint projects in the energy sector.
Following the meeting, Mr Putin and Mr Erdogan witnessed the signing of a package of cooperation agreements, including on electricity, power plant engineering, customs, and cooperation between the two countries’ information agencies.
Speech at a meeting of the High-Level Russian-Turkish Cooperation Council
PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR
PUTIN: Mr Prime Minister, friends, let me wish you all welcome once more, in expanded format this time.
Today, we are holding the fourth
meeting of the High-Level Cooperation Council. The Council’s work has produced results that fully measure up to the
advanced level of partnership that exists between our countries.
At the meeting with Mr Erdogan in
narrow format, we made a detailed examination of the main issues on the bilateral agenda. We noted that Russian-Turkish
ties are developing intensively in all areas and that we have a regular political dialogue underway. We cooperate on
resolving key regional and international issues, including through the UN and the G20.
We might have our differences on particular issues, but this does not lead
to any cooling in our relations. On the contrary, we intensify our contacts and search for common ground. The Joint
Strategic Planning Group headed by the Russian and Turkish foreign ministers makes a big contribution to this work. The
Mixed Intergovernmental Russian-Turkish Commission plays a coordinating role in building up our trade and economic
Turkey is one of Russia’s major trading partners and is in
7th place in Russia’s foreign trade turnover. Russia is Turkey’s second biggest export market after
Our bilateral trade has kept up steady growth over recent years and in
2012 reached a figure of $34 billion. But as I discussed with the Prime Minister just before, this year has seen a
slight correction that resulted in a small drop. We think that this is something we can fix and is related to the
difficult situation on the global markets. We see this as a temporary problem. I am sure that if we take systemic
measures to improve our bilateral trade conditions, this will help us to re-establish the positive dynamic in our trade
and economic ties.
We are broadening our investment cooperation. The accumulated Russian
capital investments in Turkish economy exceed $1.57 billion, and Turkish capital investments in Russia are about $740
Major investment projects are being implemented in the energy sector. Our
cooperation in this area has reached a truly strategic level. The Blue Stream pipeline, which passes across the bottom
of the Black Sea, is functioning reliably. We exported 27 billion cubic metres of natural gas in 2012. In 2014, we plan
to start building the maritime section of the South Stream pipeline in Turkey’s exclusive economic zone.
Rosatom is building Turkey’s first nuclear power plant, Akkuyu, with
capital investment standing at $20 billion. And colleagues, I would like to draw your attention to the fact that about
25% of this amount will be used by Turkish companies in this work. This means additional jobs; these are very sound
investments into the future of Turkey’s energy sector. We expect that the Turkish government will provide tax
incentives and guarantees of long-term power purchase. In addition to the implementation of similar projects in Western
Europe, we feel this project is a priority for us in Eastern Europe.
We are developing industrial cooperation in the metals and automotive
industries, and we are strengthening ties in the financial and innovation sectors.
Military technology cooperation is an important area in Russian-Turkish
partnership. We are broadening contacts between law enforcement agencies and special services, including in the fight
We are also interested in cooperating closely to ensure security during
the Sochi Olympics. And in this regard, I would like to thank our Turkish partners and Turkish companies for their
active and effective work in building Olympic facilities.
Turkey is one of the most popular destinations for Russian tourists;
according to data from this year, we expect to hit a new record, with four million visitors. Turkish citizens are
growing increasingly interested in visiting Russia as well, so we would like to suggest considering the idea of holding
reciprocal years of tourism.
We have great opportunities for further broadening humanitarian ties. The
work of the Russian-Turkish Public Forum should help their implementation.
I assume that the heads of key ministries and departments who are present
here today will give substantive reports on developing bilateral cooperation in various areas, making concrete
suggestions on their further enhancement.
When Mr Prime Minister and I were talking about many of the problems I
just mentioned, we agreed that during the expanded-format discussion, our colleagues – heads of ministries and
departments – will be able to give the necessary clarifications and talk in more detail about cooperation
Thank you for your attention.