21.04.05. Review of materials published in Turkish mass media in connection with the Ankara visit of Mr. German O. Gref, Russian Minister for Economic Development and Trade, on April 19, 2005

Source: Russian Trade Mission in Turkey

Turkish Visa for Russian in WTO / Referans,  20.04.2005

Turkey has signed a protocol on Russia’s accession to WTO.  The protocol was concluded yesterday between Mr. German O. Gref, Minister for Economic Development and Trade of the Russian Federation, who arrived in Ankara yesterday, and Mr. K. Tiuzmen, State Minister in charge of foreign trade.  During his speech after the signing ceremony, K. Tiuzmen pointed to actual completion of bilateral negotiations and said: “We expect Russia to have acceded to WTO by the summit to be held in Hong Kong. After that, barriers in bilateral trade will be lifted, customs rates will be cut down, and the scope of trade with Russia will increase.   As Russia has not been a WTO member so far, customs rate determination and trade agreements were governed otherwise.” To become a WTO member, Russia also needs to sign the protocol with the U.S.A. and Brazil, Mr. Tiuzmen noted. The State Minister declared that in the next few years the plan is to push up the scope of trade up to $25 bn.  In the elapsed 2004, trade turnover between the two nations rose by 65% y-o-y, to $ 11 bn. The State Minister also mentioned that the parties will contribute to creation of favorable investment environment for Turkish contracting companies operating in Russia.

Mr. German O. Gref noted the positive spirit that existed in foreign policy relations between the two countries: “We experience a golden period in bilateral relations. But one should strike when the iron is hot. Despite the fact that we passed through hard disputes during negotiations with Turkey on Russia’s accession to WTO, I am grateful to Turkey for provided support in this issue.” The Minister emphasized the significance of signing the protocol with Turkey, one of the biggest trade partners of Russia.  Answering to questions, Mr. German O. Gref informed of Russia’s readiness to participate in privatization in Turkey and its interest in such companies as TIUPRASH and Erdemir.  In addition, he noted possible dimensions of bilateral cooperation in electricity distribution systems and the metallurgical industry. He said participation in privatization will align our economies.

The other day, Russia has finalized negotiations with 27 nations, including Turkey, on accession to TWO. The plan is for negotiations with remaining nations to be completed during the following 10-14 days. As is known,  earlier Russian President Vladimir Putin  made a request to Turkish Premier R.T. Erdoğan during the latter’s visit to Moscow to  support Russia in the issue of WTO membership and to help finalize negotiations as soon as practicable. R.T. Erdoğan promised to go along with Russia in WTO accession and assigned state ministers K. Tiuzmen and A. Babadzhan to accelerate the negotiations process.

Russians Targeting Privatization / Radical, 20.04.2005

Mr. German Gref, Minister for Economic Development and Trade of the Russian Federation, informed that Russian companies are seriously interested in privatization of oil refining and metallurgical enterprises as well as electricity distribution networks and are willing to participation in privatization of other Turkish companies.

Russia signed a bilateral protocol with Turkey on Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organization yesterday. The minister explained that, to accede to WTO, Russia had to sign bilateral protocols with three nations – the U.S.A., Brazil and Turkey. From the Turkish side, this document was executed by Mr. Kiurshat Tiuzmen, the State Minister in charge of foreign trade, who noted that the sales turnover   between the two nations came to $11 bn last year, and the plan is to push it up to $15 bn this year. K. Tiuzmen noted that last year’s import amounted to $ 9 bn, export, to $1.8 bn, whereas this year export is to be increased to $2.5 bn.  The State Minister also drew attention to the fact that, with Russia’s accession to WTO, trade limitations between the two nations would be lifted, and customs duties would be cut down.

Hurriet,  21.04.2005

In his interview to a correspondent of Hiurriet newspaper, Mr. German O. Gref said, in particular: “Our relations have developed very rapidly, in particular last year.  Undoubtedly, they acquired momentum from summits. The protocol on Russia’s accession to WTO, which we signed with Turkey, testifies to the absence of differences between us on this issue. I am grateful to the Turkish side for keeping their word and for their support.” As concerns bilateral trade and economic cooperation, the Minister said: “I  would like Turkish businessmen to carry out direct investments in Russia. The privatization process in this country is very active. I want to invite Turkish businessmen to participation in this process. During my meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin  before this visit to Turkey, we  had once again reviewed all issues relating to privatization of TIUPRASH, Erdemir, and the electricity distribution networks, with a tender for supply of a tactical military helicopter. In addition, we would like Turkish contracting firms to participate in the Russian tourism infrastructure development as  they have extensive experience in this particular field.”

As concerns Russia’s indebtedness to the Turkish Eximbank,  the minister, in particular, said: “We could settle this matter by supplies of high-tech equipment, for instance, aerospace technologies needed by Turkey.”

We Are Interested in Tiuprash’s and Erdemir’s Privatization / SABAH, 21.04.2005

Mr. German O. Gref, Russian Minister for Economic Development and Trade, who visited Turkey at the invitation of the State Minister  Kiurshad Tiuzmen,  said: “We are interested in privatization of Tiuprash, Erdemir, the electric  distribution networks and the project with a tactical military helicopter.”

Mr. German Gref, Russian Minister for Economic Development and Trade, said Russia would share experience in aerospace technologies with Russia. He noted record high crude oil prices posed a risk for the global economy and emphasized: “the ideal price is $25-$30.”

German Gref who came to Ankara to win support in Russia’s accession to WTO  and signed the appropriate protocol  expressed his opinion  on the future of Turkish and Russian trade relations. German Gref conducted negotiations with State Minister Kiurshad Tiuzmen, met with Turkish businessmen working in Russia at supper and gave the following estimate of bilateral relations for SABAKh:

* Aerospace technologies. Relations between the two countries are rapidly developing.  They acquire momentum from summits.  Areas in which we intend to develop cooperation are aerospace technologies, aerospace equipment, small and medium business.

* Privatization. As Russian President Vladimir Putin noted during his visit to Turkey, we remain interested in privatization of Tiuprash, Erdemir, electricity distribution networks and the project of a tactical military helicopter.  Construction of a nuclear plant is a promising dimension of our future cooperation. This matter was not discussed during further negotiations.

* Call to Turkish businessmen. After accession to WTO, it would be easier for us to discuss proposals as to free economic area creation with you. Russia is a liberal country. We  try to rapidly eliminate barriers preventing businesses from development. We seek to create the most favorable conditions for Turkish investors on the Russian market.  We are civil servants, in the end. We neither produce goods nor provide services. We create conditions for businessmen to work in.

* Crude oil prices. High crude oil prices remain one of the global challenges now.  Exorbitant crude oil prices pose a problem for us, too. We seek to appreciate ruble.  Russian manufacturers’ competitive standing deteriorates in these conditions.  The ideal crude oil price ranges from $25 to $30/bbl.

Parable about Friendship

German Gref  told a parable that describes development of relations between Russia and Turkey in images:

Once upon the time, in extremely cold weather, someone knocked at one man’s door.  The host asked: “Who’s there?”  They answered: “We are travelers; there are three of us – Friendship, Wealth and Love. We have no bed for the night.  Could you please let us in?” The host says: “I have only one extra bed. Take counsel together and choose the one I will let in.” However, all of the three came in.  The host asked why all of them entered. A traveler replied: “At first, I came in alone. My name is Friendship. But where there is Friendship there are Wealth and Love. We are inseparable.”

Chicken Import

Mr. German O. Gref, Russian Minister for Economic Development and Trade,  informed that Russian experts would  inspect Turkish poultry farms. He also noted that the issue of lifting the ban on Turkish chicken import would be reviewed. In addition, the Minister announced  the plans for development of recreation areas in Russia and called for Turkish businessmen to take part in extension of tourist centers in Russia. Minister German O. Gref said: “The Turks have extensive experience in this field. To streamline trade procedures, the issue of a so-called green corridor will be elaborated.”