High-Level Russian-Turkish Cooperation Council meeting 2018-04-03 20:20:00 Ankara Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan chaired the seventh meeting of the High-Level Russian-Turkish Cooperation Council in Ankara. The discussion covered the current situation and prospects of bilateral trade and economic cooperation and the implementation of joint strategic projects, in particular, in the energy sphere, as well as current regional and international issues, including joint counterterrorism efforts and developments in Syria. The meeting of the High-Level Russian-Turkish Cooperation Council was followed by the signing of bilateral documents. The Russian Direct Investment Fund signed a Co-Investment Agreement with the Turkey’s Sovereign Wealth Fund. In addition, corresponding agencies of the two countries signed memorandums of cooperation in information technology, physical fitness and sports, social policy, and the rights of women, families and children. * * * Opening remarks at the seventh meeting of the High-Level Russian-Turkish Cooperation Council President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, The President of Turkey and I had businesslike and constructive talks in a restricted format. I hope that the High-Level Cooperation Council meeting will be as substantive. Our Turkish partners have put together an extensive agenda. With the participation of government members and representatives from the business community, we will discuss in detail a range of bilateral issues and outline concrete plans for the future. Notably, the Cooperation Council has the important task of ensuring the coordination of Russian-Turkish partnership in various fields based on the principles of mutual respect, equality and consideration of each other's interests. Notably, in preparation for this meeting, many contacts have taken place at all levels, during which bilateral and international issues were discussed openly and constructively, and arising issues were promptly resolved. The special mechanisms that have been created within the Cooperation Council maintain intensive dialogue and are in constant interaction. The Intergovernmental Commission coordinates cooperation in trade and investment. It is gratifying to know that by the end of 2017, trade between our countries increased by an impressive 40 percent to $22 billion. I am convinced that we can do even better. Our countries are increasing the volume of mutual investment. Reciprocal direct investment is approaching $10 billion from each side. The Russian-Turkish partnership in the energy sector has taken on a truly strategic dimension. Today, our countries made an important step towards strengthening cooperation in nuclear energy. During a videoconference, we gave the start for the construction of the first power unit of the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant. We expect Rosatom and our Turkish partners to launch the first unit in 2023, the year of the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Turkey. Russia is also a major supplier of natural gas for the needs of the Turkish economy. Last year alone, 29 billion cubic metres of gas were shipped. The Turkish Stream gas pipeline is being successfully implemented, and work on the offshore section has been completed. In the military-technical sphere, the contract for the delivery of S-400 Triumph anti-aircraft missile systems to Turkey is our priority. We believe that the prospects for further deliveries of modern Russian military products to Turkey will be substantively discussed during the forthcoming meeting of the corresponding intergovernmental commission. The Russian-Turkish Public Forum’s activities are designed to expand cultural ties between the two countries. Tourism is an important area for us. Last year, over 4.7 million Russian citizens visited Turkey to enjoy its resorts and rich cultural and historical heritage. Contact between people will be further promoted by holding a cross-year of culture and tourism in 2019. Ladies and gentlemen, I am confident that today's meeting will be held in a constructive and businesslike atmosphere and reflect the commitment of the leaders of both countries to further strengthen the partnership between Russia and Turkey. Thank you. President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan (retranslated): I would like to say that we are glad that my dear friend, Vladimir Putin, and his delegation are attending the seventh meeting of the High-Level Cooperation Council. I would like to once again congratulate Mr Putin on his re-election as the President of Russia by the majority of votes. Also, I would like to take this opportunity to offer our condolences over the Kemerovo tragedy. Our heartfelt condolences to our Russian friends. Since the previous Council meeting, our relevant agencies have held other meetings and talks, which have produced positive results. They concern trade, tourism, relations between our people, as well as regional conflicts and a wide range of other matters. Today we have held the ground-breaking ceremony for a very large project, the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant. We have just completed one-on-one talks with my dear friend Mr Putin on so many not only regional but also international topics. At the same time, our relevant agencies held their own meetings as well. And now we will summarise the results of our talks and exchange views on the future of our relationship. I would like to say in this connection that our energetic efforts to restore peace, tranquillity and stability in the region will be continued. I hope that all our meetings will be beneficial for our region. Once again, welcome.