A year ago, they were shaking hands, then relations cooled to icy temperatures, but now it seems Russia and Turkey could be on the road to restoring ties.
President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan have said they want to hold a face-to-face meeting as they agreed to resume cooperation in trade, tourism and the fight against terrorism.
“With regards to our bilateral relations, I would like to begin with the question of tourism,” said Putin. “While this comes at a time when terrorist cells are getting more active, we are, nevertheless, lifting the administrative restrictions in this area. And I ask the government of the Russian Federation to begin the process of normalising trade and economic relations with Turkey as a whole.”
Relations took a turn for the worse in November last year when Turkish forces shot down a Russian plane involved in the military campaign in Syria.
Ankara said the jet had strayed into its airspace.
This week, Erdogan wrote to Putin to reportedly express regret for the incident.
The Russian leader said the letter created the conditions necessary to close “this crisis chapter” in bilateral ties.
The thawing of relations comes in the same week as a deadly terror attack in Istanbul’s busiest airport, in which more than 40 people were killed.
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