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OFFICIAL: Putin Accepts Erdogan’s Apology, Ends Quarrel between Turkey and Russia

Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R) and Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan review a guard of honour during a welcoming ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, December 1, 2014. Putin arrived for talks expected to focus on trade and energy issues. REUTERS/Umit Bektas (TURKEY)

Just a few hours after I finished my previous article saying that the Russians would almost certainly accept Erdogan’s apology for the shooting down by Turkey of the SU24 came confirmation from Russia’s Presidential website that the Russians have done just that.

Russia’s Presidential website has just published a statement (in Russian, no official translation into English yet) which confirms as much.  It also says that Putin has instructed the Russian government to take steps to restore relations to the level they were at before the SU24 shoot down and that preparations for a summit meeting between Putin and Erdogan are underway.

My translation of the Russian text is as follows.  The official translation should appear within a few hours:

“Telephone conversation with President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan

On Russia’s initiative, Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with President of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

29 June 2016 14:10

The President of Russia expressed his deep condolences over the terrorist attack in Istanbul airport, which caused numerous casualties.  He expressed sympathy with the bereaved families and passed on his wishes for a speedy recovery of all those injured. Both sides underlined the need to intensify international cooperation in the fight against terrorism.

Vladimir Putin noted that the message he had received from the President of Turkey created the preconditions for the two sides to turn the page in their bilateral relations and to begin the process of resuming collaboration on international and regional issues, as well as in the development of the entire range of Russian-Turkish relations. In that context, he expressed the hope that the judicial investigation against the Turkish citizen accused of the death of the Russian pilot would be carried out in an objective way.

The Russian leader said that he has instructed the government to enter into negotiations with the relevant Turkish authorities to restore the mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation in trade, economic and other spheres. It was also noted that the Russian side intends to remove the restrictive measures regarding the visit to Turkey by Russian tourists. In this case it is desirable that the Turkish government takes extra steps to ensure the safety of Russian citizens on the territory of Turkey.

It was agreed that the foreign ministers of both countries will meet on 1st July 2016 in Sochi at a meeting of Foreign Ministers of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation. At this meeting the situation in the region will be discussed with the focus being on the settlement of the Syrian conflict, as well as on topical issues for the further development of Russian-Turkish relations.

The Russian and Turkish presidents agreed to study the possibility of near-term summit meeting between them.

The conversation was conducted in a businesslike and constructive manner and was aimed at restoring the traditionally friendly nature of the multi-faceted bilateral cooperation between the two countries.”

As to the reasons why the Turks and the Russians have agreed to settle their quarrel and repair their relations, I refer to my previous article.

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