The fast-growing economic ties between Russia and Turkey are helping to intensify bilateral cooperation in other areas.
Strengthening the business partnership between Russia and Turkey was one of the main items on the agenda at a meeting between President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Ahmet Nejet Sezer at the Kremlin.
Bilateral trade almost doubled in 2005 and reached $15 billion. Russian investment in the Turkish economy now comes to $3.5 billion.
The two countries are actively developing their cooperation in the energy and oil and gas sectors, the transport sector and the chemicals industry and are expanding contacts between their respective business communities.
This economic partnership creates a solid foundation for deepening cooperation between the two countries on the international stage, in regional groupings and in the areas of security, culture and tourism.
THE KREMLIN, MOSCOW. President Vladimir Putin met with President of Turkey Ahmet Nejet Sezer.
The two Presidents first met one-on-one and were then joined by the Russian and Turkish delegations.
MrPutin and Mr Sezer discussed in particular the development of bilateral trade and economic contacts, including in the oil and gas sector.
The two Presidents discussed the outlook for settlement in Iraq and the Middle East, the situation with the Iranian nuclear programme, the situation in the Trans-Caucasus and the issue of Cyprus.
Also on the agenda was increased cooperation in the fight against international terrorism, including in the North Caucasus, organised crime and illicit drugs trafficking.
The two leaders also exchanged views on bolstering the role of the United Nations, combating new threats and challenges to peace and stability and ensuring the supremacy of international law.
Following the talks the heads of state made press statements.
The Turkish President is on a three-day official visit to Russia.
The Kremlin, Moscow
Press Statements following Russian-Turkish Talks
PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN: Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr President,
We are very pleased to welcome to Moscow an honoured guest of our country, the President of Turkey, Mr Sezer.
We held detailed and productive talks today and examined all the main issues on the bilateral and international agendas. The main subject, of course, was the future of our bilateral cooperation.
We confirmed our common desire to consistently develop our bilateral dialogue. In accordance with the Joint Political Declaration we signed in December 2004, we intend to take our relations to the level of a substantial and multi-level partnership.
Russia is in second place today for Turkish imports and in eighth place for exports. Our bilateral trade reached a new record in 2005. By our estimates it came close to $15 billion and almost doubled. Today we need to consolidate this positive trend and focus on investment as well, an area in which we are also seeing positive trends.
Just recently, only a year ago, Russian investment in Turkey came to slightly more than $200 million, but today it stands at $3.5 billion. Turkish investment in the Russian economy has reached a similar figure. We have plans to carry out major investment projects in the energy and transport sectors, the chemicals industry and also in space exploration. There is great cooperation potential too in the electricity and nuclear energy sectors.
We also gave due attention to our joint work in fighting terrorism. In this respect I would like to say once again that we support the important initiative proposed by Turkey and Spain to create an ‘Alliance of Civilisations’ that would serve to develop dialogue between cultural and religious communities on countering terrorism and extremism.
Of course, we also exchanged views on the situation in the Middle East, on Iraq and on the Iranian nuclear issue. We also discussed the issue of cooperation in the Black Sea basin. We support the Turkish initiative to hold an operation, Black Sea Harmony, and we are now completing the internal procedures that will enable our country to take full part in it.
In conclusion, I would like once more to thank my Turkish colleague for accepting our invitation and coming to Moscow today. I am sure that this visit will help to strengthen the good-neighbourly ties between our countries and between the peoples of the Russian Federation and Turkey.
PRESIDENT OF TURKEY AHMET NEJET SEZER: Ladies and Gentlemen,
We are happy to have this opportunity to visit our friendly neighbour, the Russian Federation. I thank Mr Putin and the Russian people for the hospitality we have been shown here in Moscow.
We have just held useful talks on a wide range of issues, one-on-one and together with our delegations. We examined all aspects of our fast-growing relations and looked at how to develop them further. It is pleasing to see that the relations between our countries are moving rapidly towards a multi-level and deeper partnership and that we are working towards the goals we set in our Joint Declaration signed during President Putin’s visit in December 2004. We are pleased to see that here in Russia you share this huge desire to take our relations to new levels and set new goals.
The relations between our countries have roots that reach deep into past centuries. Developing a multi-dimensional partnership with Russia based on mutual benefit and trust is one of our foreign policy priorities.
Our trade and economic cooperation, especially in the 1990s, was the driving force of our relations with the Russian Federation. The active reciprocal high level visits of recent years and regular consultations have deepened the dialogue between our countries. This dialogue helps to strengthen mutual trust and solidarity. Our bilateral trade came to $15 billion in 2005 and reached the target we had set. Turkish investment in Russia topped the $3-billion mark and subcontracts carried out by Turkish subcontractors exceeded a total value of $17 billion. We are happy to see that Turkish business is trusted in Russia and we hope that mutual investment and trade will continue to grow to the benefit of both countries.
We place great importance on our cooperation with the Russian Federation in the energy sector. The Blue Stream gas pipeline has taken our cooperation in this area to a strategic level. We plan to continue developing this cooperation through new projects. In this respect we place great importance on working with Russia on carrying out the Samsun-Ceyhan gas pipeline project.
We are also increasing cooperation between our countries in the areas of culture and tourism. We have decided to hold a Year of Russian Culture in Turkey in 2007 and a Year of Turkish Culture in Russia in 2008. We are pleased that Turkey is one of the preferred destinations for Russian tourists. We received around 2 million Russian tourists in 2005. We hope that our ties in these areas will bring our peoples closer together.
MrPutin and I also had a wide-ranging exchange of views on regional and international events in our common zone of interest. We are pleased to note that overall our views on regional and international matters are close and we share the same position entirely regarding the need to consolidate international peace, stability and cooperation.
Along with a desire to pursue bilateral cooperation, our countries also share the desire to cooperate in multilateral format at regional and global level. In this respect we reaffirmed our commitment to working together to develop and raise the effectiveness of the Black Sea economic cooperation concept through projects that will help bring greater prosperity to the entire region.
Regarding security in the Black Sea area, we are happy that an exchange of letters has now taken place on the Russian Federation joining Black Sea Harmony. We are sure that this will be a positive step for our common efforts to strengthen security in the Black Sea region.
We are sure that in the difficult context our region faces, good relations between Turkey and Russia based on mutual respect and growing cooperation will help bring peace, prosperity and stability to the region in general. We believe that this visit will give an additional boost to developing Turkish-Russian ties and cooperation in all areas.
My sincere greetings to you all.