President of Russia Vladimir Putin: I would like to thank you for the initiative to meet in Ankara today.
Recently, on August 27, we met at the International Aviation and Space Salon in Moscow and noted that relations between our countries were developing well, and we also mapped out further steps to promote bilateral ties.
Indeed, talking one-on-one today, we discussed in detail the Syrian crisis and how to settle it. We talked about bilateral cooperation in many areas. We reviewed some urgent issues linked with Syria, in part, the Idlib zone. We talked about developments in the area beyond the Euphrates River and the situation on the eastern bank, and so on.
We expressed the need to enhance coordination on some issues and give an additional impetus to our relevant agencies – the defence and foreign ministries and special services – to closely coordinate their efforts on normalisation.
I would like to note in this context the tangible leading role of Turkey and President Erdogan in reaching mutual agreement on the list of people who are to work in the Constitutional Committee. I think this is extremely important.
We can say that this work is, in general, completed. The only thing we have to do is coordinate the working process of the committee. First, we need to make sure that the members are basically independent and not subjected to any external pressure. This is extremely important.
This is yet another step in our cooperation. But considering that we have achieved positive results in the past we can hope to achieve them in this area as well.
The situation beyond the Euphrates River stirs up complex feelings: it remains very tense. We understand how important this is for the territorial integrity of Syria and all of its neighbours. I am referring to the lawful rights of the neighbouring states, including Turkey, to ensure their security.
As for bilateral relations, we will host the Russian Energy Week international forum on October 5 in Moscow. We will be happy to see the Turkish delegation at the highest level if the President can find the time for this.
This is all the more important since we will be discussing infrastructure and gas distribution issues. I am referring to our major project, TurkStream. It would be interesting to talk about our next steps in this area.
As the President has already noted, last year we achieved good results – our trade exceeded $25 billion. Regrettably, we will probably see an adjustment this year.
We believe this is due to certain restrictions imposed by our Turkish partners on Russian metallurgical and chemical products, including fertiliser.
We would like to bring this matter to the attention of our Turkish friends and ask them to reconsider it at the talks with their Russian partners.
I have just talked with the President – on September 3 we gave our Turkish friends a draft intergovernmental agreement on transactions in national currencies. We asked them to respond as soon as possible, especially since this is the result of our joint work and it is almost completed.