Embassy Information

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

Todays Zaman

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 case.

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 Medvedevs visit to Turkey in May this year.

Russia is Turkeys 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.