SPOTLIGHT: RUSSIA, TURKEY TO LIFT TRADE RESTRICTIONS, ENHANCE COOPERATION IN SYRIA
MOSCOW, Russia, May 4 (NNN-XINHUA) – Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan, agreed to lift restrictive measures in mutual trade and further work together, to resolve the Syrian conflict, during a meeting in Sochi, Russia.
“Now we can say with full confidence that the process of restoration of Russian-Turkish relations has been completed, and we are returning to the normal interaction between partners.” Putin said in a joint press conference, following the meeting.
In this context, the two countries have agreed on a complex solution for problems related to restrictions, as “all restrictions destroy the economy and harm our producers,” the president said.
According to Putin, restrictions in all trade areas will be lifted, except for the ones on tomato imports from Turkey, which will remain for the time being, until Russian agricultural producers recover relevant investment and the tomato growing industry is on track.
“As dear President Putin said, this (tomatoes) is a temporary measure to which we have agreed. As far as other issues are concerned, we have also come to an agreement. So we can say that the normalisation period has been completed.” Erdogan said.
The ban on visa-free travel of Turks will also continue for the moment, due in particular to “the necessity to strengthen cooperation between our special services in condition of an increase of the terrorist threat,” Putin added.
Russia introduced bans on many commodities amid escalated tensions between the two countries after Turkey shot down a Russian war plane near the Syrian border in Nov, 2015. In response, Turkey imposed a prohibitive import tariff on Russian exports of wheat, maize and sunflower oil, of which Turkey is a major buyer.
During the meeting, Putin and Erdogan also discussed ways of addressing the Syrian conflict and reiterate their shared pledge on working together to end the crisis in the war-torn country.
“Mr. President (Erdogan) and I believe that the Syrian crisis may be solved exclusively by political means. But for this political process to develop, a ceasefire should be secured.” Putin said.
The two presidents voiced support for the idea to create safe zones or deescalation zones in Syria, a proposal backed by U.S. President Donald Trump, noting that it should lead to further pacification of the parties and to the strengthening of the ceasefire regime.
“This issue (on safe zones) is the most important one (at talks) in Astana. I hope that a decision on creating deescalation zones will be adopted to secure further settlement.” Erdogan said.
“We all believe that it is necessary to create mechanisms which would guarantee stopping the bloodshed and creating conditions for political dialogue. In this sense, our position coincides fully with that of the Turkish president.” Putin said.
As to the alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria’s Idlib Province in early Apr, Putin and Erdogan agreed that those responsible should be brought to justice, in spite of previous divergence over who was to be held accountable.
“Absence of bloodshed is the most important condition of the start of the dialogue between the conflicting parties. This process should lead to the full restoration of the territorial integrity of the country (Syria) and creation of a unified government, independent of the positions of the political forces existing today. They should unite in the interests of the Syrian people.” Putin said.– NNN-XINHUA
Source: NAM News Networkhttps://syrianewsgazette.com/spotlight-russia-turkey-to-lift-trade-restrictions-enhance-cooperation-in-syria/Business