Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Russia 'not demanding' Turkey quit EU for Shanghai pact

Russia does not expect Turkey to cut its ties with the EU while conducting accession talks with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Russia’s ambassador to Ankara said Wednesday.

“It is all is up to Ankara,” Andrey Karlov said. “During the [SCO] membership process, we are not at all demanding from Turkey to refrain or halt its relations with the EU.”

In an interview with Anadolu Agency, Karlov assured Turkey of Russian cooperation “in every sense, at the bilateral or international level.”

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had earlier indicated that Turkey was considering membership of trade blocs other than the EU, especially the SCO.

Karlov anticipated that a meeting between Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Turkey’s Antalya province on Thursday would be a symbol of a new phase in bilateral relations between the two countries.

  • “The latest issues in Ukraine and Syria will top the agenda,” he said. “This meeting will play a key role in cooperation.”

In addition, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim is due to visit Russia next week.

Karlov said Russia wants to see Turkey as a natural gas transit hub and supported the TurkStream natural gas project.


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