Putin, Erdoğan meeting to focus on restoring ties between Turkey-Russia: Kremlin

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
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Putin, Erdoğan meeting to focus on restoring ties between Turkey-Russia: Kremlin

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will meet on August 9, the Kremlin said Thursday.

The two will discuss ways of restoring bilateral relations in St. Petersburg, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the press.

"There will be a serious exchange of views on how, what pace and in what order we will engage in the restoration of our relations," Peskov said.

Peskov added that the two leaders will also discuss regional issues, including the current situation in Syria.

Turkey and Russia have for years differed on policy toward Syria. Ankara has repeatedly accused Moscow of supporting the Assad regime in Syria.

Tension between the two countries settled when President Erdoğan expressed regret for the downing of a Russian military jet to Vladimir Putin back in June, in an attempt to mend ties which were deeply strained last November.

A statement released by the presidential spokesman said that President Erdoğan sent a letter to President Putin to express his regrets about the downing of the Russian warplane in November 2015 and apology to the family of the Russian pilot who died in the incident.

Relations between the two countries hit a low in November 2015 after Turkish jets downed a Russian Su-24 bomber near the Syrian border for violating Turkish airspace. Turkey provided radar data that the Russian planes breached the border while Moscow insisted that the warplane had not crossed the border.

In the beginning, Erdoğan and Putin exchanged harsh criticism and ultimatums in the wake of the jet crisis. The Kremlin directed accusations at Ankara and imposed sanctions that continue to deal a heavy blow to Turkey's tourism sector.

Russia's sanctions hit itself as well. Due to sanctions imposed on Turkish goods, vegetable and fruit prices in Russia have risen.

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