Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan chaired the eighth meeting of the High-Level Russian-Turkish Cooperation Council, in which energy cooperation between the two countries was discussed, as well as the situation in Syria.
Earlier that day, the two leaders held a restricted meeting to consider priority issues of developing bilateral relations, according to the Kremlin.
The presidents of Russia and Turkey had an in-depth exchange on the full range of Russian-Turkish relations, including the progress of joint strategic projects in energy, defence and the humanitarian field, and on current regional and international issues.
Together, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan hosted a joint meeting with Russian and Turkish business leaders.
According to the Kremlin, the Turkish President’s visit to Russia resulted in the signing of a number of bilateral documents in a variety of areas.
In a press briefing, Putin said the joint strategic planning group members discussed the situation in Syria at a meeting in Antalya.
“As guarantors of the Astana process, Russia and Turkey continue making energetic, coordinated efforts for the long-term normalization of the situation in that country,” Putin said, adding, “We are coordinating our efforts in the context of stepping up the intra-Syrian political process, particularly with an eye towards forming a constitutional committee as soon as possible.”
With regard to trade, Putin said that last year, bilateral trade grew by almost 16 percent to over $25 billion. The volume of mutual investment is nearing $20 billion.
“I believe that cancelling existing trade restrictions and diversifying the range of products could help expand trade,” Putin said. “Launching new joint projects in manufacturing, metallurgy, agriculture and the high-tech sector will promote investment cooperation.”
Putin said that, “notably, Russian-Turkish energy cooperation has become truly strategic.” Russia is the largest natural gas supplier to Turkey, with last year, 24 billion cubic metres were exported. This covers almost half of the country’s needs.
“A new gas pipeline, TurkStream, will significantly boost the supply of Russian gas to Turkish consumers when it becomes operational. The deep-water section and Turkey’s coastal section of the pipeline were line up the other day, marking the culmination of a major phase of the construction process,” Putin said.