Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has ordered the government to launch the process of restoring cooperation with Turkey after phone conversation with his Turkey counterpart.
“The Russian leader said that he would instruct the government to start negotiations with the Turkish authorities to restore the mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation in trade, economic and other areas,” the Kremlin said on June 29.
Additionally, Putin instructed the government to lift tourism-related restrictions against Turkey, expressing hope that Turkish authorities will take the so-called “additional measures” to ensure safety of Russian nationals
“Although this announcement is being made amid growing terror threat, we will lift the administrative restrictions in this sphere [tourism], and I am asking the government of the Russian Federation to begin the process of normalizing trade and economic relations with Turkey,” Putin noted at a government meeting.
According to Vice President of the Association of Tour Operators of Russia (ATOR) Dmitry Gorin, the tourist flow from Russia to Turkey may be restored within three months.
It’s clear that Putin’s orders are a political move aimed to show the progress in the expected normalization. However, the decision to lift tourism-related restrictions against Turkey next day after a bloody terror attack at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport (40+ people killed and 230+ injured) looks at least questionable.
The Kremlin’s press service added that the Russian and Turkish presidents underscored the need to bolster “international cooperation in the fight against terrorism.” The dramatic imporvement of the cooperation in this sphere is also very questionable because the both countries have different views on the solution of the conflict in Syria where the terrorist threat is especially high due to constant efforts of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the USA.
There are also reports that Putin and Erdogan discussed the possibility of meeting in person in the near future.
We remember how the crisis between Russia and Turkey has started: