Erdogan, Putin talks mark 'new stage'
Speaking ahead of Tuesday's visit to Russia, President Erdogan says talks will open 'new stage' in renewed relations
An upcoming meeting of the presidents of Turkey and Russia is expected to set a new roadmap for bilateral relations between Ankara and Moscow, local media report.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will meet Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg Tuesday, marking the first meeting between the two leaders since Russia and Turkey began normalizing relations following the downing of a Russian warplane in November last year.
Speaking to French daily Le Monde on Monday, Erdogan said the Aug. 9 meeting was planned well before Turkey’s July 15 coup attempt and said it will mark “a new stage” in Turkish- Russian relations.
According to Russian media outlets, Turkey-Russia economic and political relations and the Syrian war will be the key topics to dominate the visit.
Putin's aide Yuri Ushakov said in a statement on Friday that the talks came after a hard period. "I hope the talks will contribute to normalizing Turkey-Russia relations," he said.
After the Turkish Air Force shot down a Russian jet over the Turkey-Syria border last November, relations between the two countries soured until the issue seemed largely resolved on June 29 through a letter and subsequent telephone calls between the countries’ leaders.
On June 30, Russia lifted a ban on tourist flights to Turkey following a phone conversation between Putin and Erdogan.
Turkish and Russian foreign ministers later met in the Russian city of Sochi on July 1.
Putin gave his support to Turkey over the July 15 coup attempt and said he stood by the elected government, offering his condolences to the victims of what Erdogan called the “most heinous” armed coup attempt in modern Turkish history.
On July 22, Russia also lifted restrictions on flights to Turkey, which had been implemented temporarily following the coup attempt, after Turkish officials assured their Russian counterparts that additional security measures were being taken.