Prime Minister Vladimir Putin meets with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan
16 march 2011
Transcript of the beginning of the meeting:
Vladimir Putin: Mr Prime Minister, colleagues. I am very glad to see you again, this time in Moscow.
I would like to say that despite problems in the global economy, Russian-Turkish economic cooperation is developing favourably. Our trade has grown by almost 30% over the last year. We can see major progress in joint energy, transport, and infrastructure projects. The same is true of nuclear power engineering, oil, and gas. I am referring to our joint efforts in a number of very promising and interesting areas.
I am very glad that you had an opportunity to hold an expanded meeting with the president of the Russian Federation and now with the Russian government.
This year marks the 90th anniversary of the treaty on friendship and cooperation signed by the Russian Soviet Federative Republic and the Turkish Republic. Ninety years! Considering such a history and all that has been done in recent years, we have every chance of moving forward to create, among other things, the conditions for more constructive and direct contacts between Russian and Turkish businessmen and common people, free from administrative barriers. In this respect, we are making progress. We are promoting solutions to readmission and are just a stone’s throw away from introducing visa-free travel for our citizens. Russia is the second largest trade and economic partner of Turkey after Germany, and we see even more prospects in this field.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan (as translated): My dear friend, Vladimir. Today we are in Moscow to attend the second meeting of the Russian-Turkish High-Level Cooperation Council. I would like to express great satisfaction in the attention paid to me and my delegation, particularly at this meeting. We have taken very important steps. This project will be given a new impetus following summit visits at the level of presidents and prime ministers. During your visit to our country in May 2010, we established this council, and it has opened up new horizons for our cooperation.
Another important aspect of that cooperation is that the second council meeting is being held on the 90th anniversary of the Moscow treaty you’ve just mentioned. Notwithstanding the negative impact of the global financial crisis, we have achieved fairly good results in terms of trade and economic cooperation: around a $26.5 billion turnover. In the near future, I am sure that both parties have the willpower to reach the $100-billion mark in our trade.
In the sphere of energy, we first and foremost hope to launch our nuclear power project on schedule. I assume that by the end of April or the beginning of May, we will be able to lay the foundation for that complex. There are certain efforts being made on the part of environmental groups to hinder this project. We believe that by having taken appropriate measures and chosen the right site for construction, we have arrived at a well-developed project that, given proper operation, will run with complete safety and efficiency.