Envoy says Turkish-Russian ties have ‘strategic importance’
(on the interview of the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Turkey Vladimir Ivanovskiy with the Diplomat Atlas, August 2010)
21 August 2010, Saturday
The Russian Ambassador to Turkey has said Turkish-Russian bilateral cooperation in some areas is of strategic
importance, describing the rapid improvement of political dialogue between the two former rivals as an “unprecedented”
“There is unprecedented, intensive and active work between the foreign ministries of both countries. Some
life-critical areas of Turkish-Russian bilateral cooperation have strategic importance,” Russian Ambassador to Turkey
Vladimir Ivanovskiy said in an interview with the Diplomat Atlas magazine in its latest issue. Noting that political
dialogue between Turkey and Russia has experienced an unprecedented rapid increase in a positive political atmosphere,
the diplomat said a High Level Cooperation Council will serve to strengthen bilateral dialogue in all spheres.
The High-Level Cooperation Council between Russia and Turkey -- an intergovernmental cooperation mechanism that lays
the foundation for the strategic partnership of the two countries -- was established during Russian President Dmitry
Medvedev’s visit to Turkey in May this year.
Russia is Turkey’s single biggest trading partner and provides two-thirds of its gas. The two countries have trade
ties totaling some $40 billion. Ivanovskiy said Turkish investment in Russia had reached $6 billion and that there have
been more than 800 facilities built by Turkish construction companies in the past 20 years. The total volume of
projects by Turkish contractors is $12 billion.
Describing Turkish contractors as “experienced and reliable,” Ivanovskiy said the volume of Russian investment in
Turkey is very close to $4 billion. “Turkish-Russian cooperation in energy is really developing into a strategic
relationship,” the envoy stated.
Saying that Turkey and Russia are jointly developing the South Stream and Samsun-Ceyhan pipeline projects, Ivanovsky
said Russian companies are also ready to improve cooperation in the oil and gas markets.
The ambassador said Turkey is a “tourism Mecca” for Russians and hoped a possible visa exemption deal between the
two countries will also lead to an increase of Turks visiting Russia.