Russia's ambassador to Ankara, Alexei Erkhov, said Turkey and Russia are two neighboring countries that depend on each other with joint strategies and plans after a short tumultuous period following the downed Russian jet crisis.
"Russia and Turkey are dependent neighbor countries with joint history, strategic interests and comprehensive plans. Therefore, we have all the reasons to have expectations for an excellent joint future," Erkhov said in an interview with Russian Sputnik news agency on the first anniversary of the assassination of Russian envoy to Ankara, Andrei Karlov.
Stressing that Karlov played a key role in overcoming the crisis after Turkey downed a Russian jet in late 2015, Erkhov said, "Karlov worked in Turkey in a very difficult period for bilateral relations. First of all, I speak of the development called the jet crisis. As a result, it is mostly the personal success of Andrei Karlov to leave this process behind successfully."
The difficult period Erkhov is referring to began in November 2015 when relations took a downward turn in the aftermath of Turkey shooting down a Russian Su-24 jet. The two countries cut off diplomatic ties and reciprocal sanctions were announced.
As Ankara and Moscow overcome the difficulties in ties, Erkhov spoke very hopeful of the bilateral relations.
"Turkish-Russian relations are indeed on the rise today. We broke a record in the number of Russian tourists visiting Turkey this year, this number has now passed 4.5 million," the envoy said.
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