ST PETERSBURG — The presidents of Russia and Turkey vowed to open a new period of close relations as they rebuild ties between their countries after a nearly seven-month rupture over Ankara’s shooting down of a Russian warplane last year.
Speaking on August 9 during a visit to St. Petersburg, Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Vladimir Putin that Turkey was entering a “very different period” in relations with Russia, and that cooperation between the two countries would help solve regional problems.
He also vowed to rebuild military, economic, and cultural cooperation. “As a result of the talks we held today, we have taken steps to take our relations with Russia to where they should be politically, economically and culturally,” said Erdogan, who said they had agreed on setting up a joint Russian-Turkish investment fund and to increase cooperation on defense.
“Your visit today, despite a very difficult situation regarding domestic politics, indicates that we all want to restart dialogue and restore relations between Russia and Turkey,” Putin said.
“Life changes quickly,” Putin told a news conference after holding talks with Erdogan, adding that Russian sanctions imposed on Turkey over the plane downing could be lifted step-by-step.
The two leaders also raised the prospect of cooperation between Moscow and Ankara on the Syrian civil war despite them backing opposing sides.