Russia and Turkey intend to strengthen bilateral cooperation in all areas. This is the outcome of the talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who arrived in Sochi at the invitation of his Russian counterpart. The two Presidents hailed the fact that the relations between the two countries have reached such a high level, but they believe that there is still room for deepening the collaboration. Thus, Presidents Putin and Erdogan discussed measures to eliminate the remaining restrictions on the supply of a number of goods.
As for bilateral cooperation, we can say that our relations have been essentially restored on a full scale. This is confirmed by the growing commodity turnover as well. In the 9 months of the current year, the growth made up 36 percent. There are ample grounds to assume that we will be able to fully compensate the decline of last year. This progress is largely due to the consistent lifting of mutual trade barriers and restrictions, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.
For his part, the Turkish president said that the level of "bilateral economic relations exceeded $15 billion" in the first quarter of 2017.
We have continued and continue to maintain intensive contacts with a view to eliminating all outstanding problems. The intergovernmental commission meeting was wrapped up in Kazan last month, and we were pleased to find out that a decision was passed during this meeting to facilitate the import into the Russian Federation of such goods as eggplants, tomatoes, pomegranates and other agricultural crops. We would like for all other restrictions to be lifted as well. We need to remove all obstacles standing in the way of our businesspeople in order to reach a 100-billion mark. In this regard, it is very important to return to the previous visa-free regime, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.
The parties also agreed to boost their cooperation in the energy sector. During the talks, Vladimir Putin noted that Russia plans to launch a first reactor of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant by 2023. Moreover, the Turkish and Russian presidents touched upon issues on the regional and international agenda. Russia and Turkey concurred on the need to step up efforts aimed at advancing a political settlement in Syria. As a result of the successful dialogue, the sides intend to continue regular contacts.
The Russian president emphasized that an excellent practice of working and informal exchange of opinions and adjustment of joint plans and summarizing the work done has been formed between the leaders of Russia and Turkey. In turn, analysts in Baku are confident that the successful Russian-Turkish cooperation opens up great opportunities for Azerbaijan.
Rapprochement between Turkey and Russia and firm cooperation between these two countries only benefits Azerbaijan. With less rivalry between Turkey and Russia in the region and a greater emphasis on partnership, Azerbaijan can always act here as a third party and a very significant actor both for Turkey in Russia and for Russia in Turkey. Azerbaijan is vitally interested and would welcome such a rapprochement, political scientist Rasim Musabayov said.
In addition, Azerbaijani political analysts believe that the parties could also contribute the soonest settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Given the countries try to interact on all key regional issues, they can definitely focus on their efforts on the Karabakh conflict as President Erdogan lately stressed the need for resolving it, adding that Russian-Turkish solidarity in settling regional crises further strengthens the relations between the two countries. The rapprochement between Russia and Turkey is beneficial for Azerbaijan as extra opportunities are emerging for restoring its territorial integrity by means of boosting Ankara’s influence in this matter. Moreover, there is a high probability of establishing another regional trilateral format comprising Russia, Azerbaijan and Turkey, which would bring closer the positions of the sides on many issues and turn Baku into a key player in all major regional developments, political scientist Anar Sadikhov said.
Analysts link the Russian-Turkish rapprochement with the establishment of stability in the region. Therefore, the current meeting between Presidents Putin and Erdogan may significantly contribute to the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.