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Published on : Sunday, November 24, 2013
One of the fastest growing economies, Russia, and a reasonably stable one, Turkey, have come together to expand their business horizon. Russia and Turkey are expected to give a boost to bilateral trade, despite a slight slowdown this year amid unfavorable conditions on the global market, the countries’ leaders said Friday.
“We have a common goal of reaching trade volumes of $100 billion by 2020,” Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a meeting of the high-level Russian-Turkish Cooperation Council in St. Petersburg.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the meeting that bilateral trade grew to $34 billion last year but exports and imports dropped by 7.5 per cent in January-September period this year. The decrease is temporary and trade is likely to see an upturn after measures are taken to improve trade conditions, Putin said.
The Russian leader said Turkey is a top destination for Russian tourists, with a record 4 million Russians expected to visit the country’s resorts this year. He also marked an increase in the number of Turkish tourists to Russia and proposed holding a bilateral year of tourism in both Russia and Turkey.
Putin said Russia is interested in expanding military and technical cooperation with Turkey to ensure security at the upcoming Winter Olympics in Russia’s Black Sea city of Sochi. He also thanked Russia’s Turkish partners for their role in building Olympic facilities there.
The leaders also discussed international issues, such as efforts to put an end to the civil war in Syria and resolve Azerbaijan and Armenia’s decades-old conflict over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh.
“We have common steps to take and the talks we held on these topics have helped us set up a platform and a basis for settling these issues,” Erdogan told the meeting. Russia and Turkey signed a number of cooperation agreements at the meeting.