Russia, Turkey reach special level of trust-based dialogue, envoy says
Russia and Turkey achieved a special level of trust-based dialogue in bilateral relations last year, Russia’s Ambassador to Turkey Alexei Yerkhov said in an interview with Russian media on occasion of Diplomats’ Day.
"2018 was really hard, but at the same time very interesting, busy and especially fruitful for Russian-Turkish relations. This was the year of unprecedented bilateral political dialogue. Over the past year, Presidents Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan held seven personal meetings and 18 phone conversations. I believe this was a record," the ambassador said, TASS reports.
Speaking on what bilateral contacts are scheduled soon, Yerkhov stressed that Russia and Turkey "in their bilateral relations have reached such a level of trust-based friendly dialogue that sometimes there is no need in planning visits." "Sometimes visits are arranged just in a couple of days, and sometimes within several hours and at a rather high level. Our embassy has got accustomed to this dynamics, it brings us joy and optimism about the quality of our contacts in the foreseeable future," the diplomat said.
In addition, Alexei Yerkhov said that trade turnover between Russia and Turkey last year exceeded the pre-crisis level. "According to preliminary data, bilateral trade turnover last year reached nearly $25.4bln. This figure really exceeds the so-called pre-crisis level. This means that compared with last year we increased our trade turnover by 20-25%," the diplomat said.
The ambassador also noted that "this growth was achieved in rather challenging conditions, which international trade relations are undergoing in general."
Speaking on trade in national currencies, the ambassador said there are good prospects in this sphere. "According to our assessments, now up to 10% of bilateral trade operations are carried out in this trade regime," he said, noting that the initiative comes from economic entities themselves. "They are carrying out these operations in the framework of their mutual settlements."
"The work in this direction is underway, but it is early now to speak about any particular projects or prospects, moreover this will depend on the environment in international trade. Nevertheless, we have prospects in this area and I believe they are not bad ones," TASS quoted him as saying..