Sanctions on Turkey to be lifted gradually, Russian PM says

DAILY SABAH WITH AGENCIES
ISTANBUL
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Russia will remove the economic sanctions against Turkey "on a gradual basis," Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday.

Speaking at a meeting of the cabinet of ministers in Moscow, Medvedev said economic sanctions against Turkey would be lifted in accordance with the instructions of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Medvedev said sanctions are to be lifted "gradually" in order to prevent any harm against Russian producers.

Russia would also demand guarantees by the Turkish government in order to provide safety for Russian tourists, Medvedev said.

In line with these developments, Russia's transport ministry said on Thursday it had started implementing a government order to resume charter flights to Turkey, TASS news agency reported.

Meanwhile, Interfax news agency cited Russia's representative at the International Atomic Energy Agency as saying on Thursday that work on the planned Akkuyu nuclear power plant project in southern Turkish province of Mersin should be unfrozen after the normalization of Russian-Turkish relations.

The Akkuyu nuclear plant is the first of three nuclear power plants Turkey currently plans to build to reduce its dependence on imported energy from exporters such as Russia and Iran. Turkey launched the construction of its first nuclear power plant in negotiations with Russia in 2010 for greater energy independence, but following the jet crisis in November 2015, the project was temporarily halted.

On Wednesday, Putin and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan held a phone call, during which they agreed to normalize relations between their countries.

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