Russian Ambassador to Ankara Andrey Karlov has said that Turkish-Russian political relations have returned back to normal, pointing to close dialogue between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and President Vladimir Putin as proof that bilateral relations are in the process of normalization.
"In the last three months, our presidents Putin and Erdoğan met three times and had phone conversations 11 times. President Putin has not spoken with any other world leader as often as he has spoken with President Erdoğan,'' Ambassador Karlov said on Dec. 16 in Ankara. Speaking at the conference titled, "Deepening Turkey-Russia Relations," jointly organized by the Center for Strategic Research (SAM) of the Turkish Foreign Ministry and Russian International Affairs' Council (RAIC), the ambassador emphasized the importance of reaching a mutual understanding between politicians to restore relations while acknowledging that there are issues that both sides have not compromised on.
''There is a saying in Russian which says, it's easy to break ties but difficult to restore them. Thankfully, we have restored bilateral relations on a political level but we need one or two years to reach the pre-crisis level in economic relations," Karlov said.
During his speech, SAM President Prof. Dr. Mesut Özcan underlined there have been close interactions between Russia and Turkey throughout history and expressed his hope that this conference would provide an opportunity to discuss and even overcome problematic issues. On the other hand, RAIC President Dr. Andrey Kortunov underlined the importance of enhancing cooperation in science and education to further improve bilateral relations to the previous year's pre-crisis level.