13.01.05. The Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey Mr. R.T.Erdoğan's visit to Moscow, January 10-12, 2005

January 10, 2005

President Vladimir Putin met with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

Mr Putin once again congratulated Mr Erdoğan, his family and the entire Turkish people on the New Year and wished them all the very best.

The President expressed his thanks for the warm reception he received during his official visit to Turkey in December 2004 and also passed on his best wishes to Turkish President Ahmet Sezer.

Mr Putin noted that Mr Erdoğan's visit to Russia will be busy and useful.


Start of Meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

January 11, 2005

The Kremlin, Moscow

PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN: Allow me once again to wish you a sincere welcome. Yesterday we had the opportunity to discuss all issues relating to our cooperation in considerable detail.

Today we are meeting in enlarged format with business community representatives. I hope that all our colleagues will also be present for these consultations.

At the start of today's meeting I would like to note that the high expectations we both share for developing our bilateral economic relations have been fulfilled. Last year we expected trade between our countries to increase by up to around $8 billion but it has increased by $10 billion. I agree with your forecast that we could soon reach a figure of $15 billion.

Today we have the opportunity to discuss in specific detail energy sector, transport, social and other economic issues that we touched on in general yesterday.

I am very happy to see you in Moscow and I hope that you have managed to get some rest.

RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN: Allow me to thank you, Your Excellency, for the warm reception and the hospitality you showed us yesterday evening. I hope that today's meeting and the meeting with the delegations will be fruitful.

The development of our trade and economic ties opens the way forward for businesspeople from both our countries. Our delegation includes some 500 businesspeople. Yesterday we all flew here on a large plane and today two more planes will arrive.

Together we will open newly built facilities and the talks between our delegations will give us the chance to discuss opportunities for further development of our relations.

Along with the development of our trade and economic ties, development of tourism is helping our peoples to become better acquainted with each other, thus creating new opportunities for bringing our countries even closer together. As you rightly noted, our expectations for bilateral trade growth have been fulfilled and even exceeded.

It is my sincere conviction that we can reach the objectives we have set very quickly. I think that this process will move ahead even faster with the help of joint investment in our own and in third countries.

Once again, Your Excellency, I would like to thank you on my own behalf and on behalf of our delegation.


Start of Russian-Turkish Talks in Enlarged Format

January 11, 2005

Moscow, the Kremlin

PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN: As we agreed, we are focusing our attention today principally on economic cooperation issues. Our priorities here are in the energy, transport and infrastructure sectors and include electricity, energy resource supplies and the construction of structural facilities in this sector. As for transport, this includes air transport and some other areas. We will also look at social issues and we have plans regarding military-technical cooperation and I would like to say a few words on this issue too.

But before we begin our work I would like to congratulate all our Turkish friends and colleagues on the New Year, wish you all the very best in this new year and wish you, your families and the entire Turkish people happiness, health and prosperity.

RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN: First of all I would like to express the hope that this new year of 2005 that has just begun will be a good year for all of humanity, for the Russian people and for Turkey. I hope that 2005 will be a year of prosperity for us all.

Your New Year and Christmas holidays are ending now and the working year is beginning.

Today's meeting will give us the chance to exchange views on issues such as energy, tourism and trade and economic cooperation. We will also have the opportunity to discuss expanding our military-technical cooperation. Of course, we shall also have a chance to look at issues concerning our region of the world.


Introductory Words at Meeting with Turkish Business Community Representatives

January 11, 2005

Moscow, the Kremlin

PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN: Esteemed Mr Prime Minister, ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,

Allow me to wish a warm welcome to Moscow for the Turkish business community representatives. I already met with many of you just over a month ago in Ankara when a very open and constructive discussion on the current situation and prospects for Russian-Turkish business ties took place. I must say that at the meetings yesterday evening and today we discussed all issues relating to our cooperation in considerable detail.

I would like to thank all of you who prepared specific proposals for this meeting and who gave substantial reports. Your interest, the interest that comes from your business community, and your thorough practical knowledge of the subject help us to identify the most pressing issues for business cooperation between Russia and Turkey. I know that all your proposals will be studied in detail by Russian and Turkish experts and officials. Life has shown us that the discussion that took place in Ankara and today's discussion are very timely. Trade between our two countries is growing fast. In December we were expecting that results for 2004 would show an increase of trade between Russia and Turkey of up to a figure of $8 billion but our statistical reports today show that growth has exceeded our expectations and has reached the record figure of $10 billion and, according to some assessments, even $11 billion.

I know that in the interview he gave just before leaving for Moscow, the Prime Minister said he thought that through joint efforts we could increase our trade turnover this year to $15 billion and reach a figure of $25 billion by 2007. I think that these are entirely realistic objectives so long as our two countries' business communities play an active part in helping to attain them, that is, if you here today, the leading representatives of the Turkish business community, play an active part.

It is clear that growing mutual interest among businesspeople in both our countries will require us to remove the barriers in the way of flows of investment and goods. It also requires balanced resolution of disputes and ultimately obliges us in both Russia and Turkey to take an effective approach to building up modern infrastructure for our foreign economic ties.

I want to say again that yesterday evening and this morning these were precisely the issues we discussed. I want to stress that our dynamic political dialogue, a dialogue between neighbours committed to the principles of democracy and openness, forms a solid foundation for our trade and economic partnership. In this respect I see the political declaration signed in Ankara on December 6, 2004 by myself and Turkish President Sezer as an important step. We can say that Russian-Turkish cooperation is now taking place in an ever growing spirit of mutual trust, equality and respect for each other's interests.

We welcome Turkey's success at the Brussels summit with the European Union. As you know, Russia is also developing a strategic partnership with the European Union and we are building a common economic space together. The European Union accounts for more than 50 percent of our trade turnover and we hope that Turkey's integration into the European Union will open up new opportunities for Russian-Turkish business cooperation. At the same time, it is very important to preserve what we have achieved thus far. All that is good and useful that we have built up through our joint efforts must not be lost. What is important here is careful calculation, pragmatism and, of course, analysis of the new EU member countries' experience. We discussed this subject in Ankara, although only briefly.

Many of the barriers that stand in the way of trade and economic cooperation can undoubtedly also be removed after the completion of Russian-Turkish talks on Russia's accession to the World Trade Organisation on acceptable conditions. We spoke about this during our consultations and it is with great satisfaction that I note our Turkish colleagues' positive attitude towards Russia's accession to the World Trade Organisation. Coordination of the economic regimes in our countries, consistently pursuing market principles in our economic ties and expanding entrepreneurial freedom are of crucial importance in this respect.

We are watching with interest the reforms carried out by the Turkish government under the leadership of Prime Minister Erdoğan. Our national goals to modernise our economies have a lot in common. The Russian and Turkish governments are both striving to improve the investment climate, expand the domestic market, encourage innovation and develop export opportunities. This creates real prospects for increasing our investment cooperation and diversifying our trade turnover. These are all real steps: compensating the trade deficit and correcting the imbalance in investment. The work carried out as part of the joint meetings of our two countries' Business Council will also be of undoubted use and assistance.

I am sure that these meetings and talks in Moscow will give you the chance to appreciate the opportunities and prospects for partnership with Russian colleagues. I sincerely wish you successful, long-term business projects and large-scale initiatives.

In conclusion, I would like to congratulate everyone here on the New Year. This year, 2005, is of special significance because it marks the 60th anniversary of victory over Fascism, and I am happy that the Turkish Prime Minister, Mr Erdoğan, has accepted our invitation to take part in the celebrations of this anniversary in Moscow on May 9.

This year is also significant in that it marks a special date in the history of relations between our two countries - the 85th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our country and the Republic of Turkey. I sincerely hope that this year will be a fruitful year for all areas of Russian-Turkish cooperation.

Thank you for your attention.