Russian Vladimir Putin and Turkish Tayyip Erdogan nave met in St Petersburg on Tuesday. For the first time since their relations worsen in November, when Turkey downed Russian warplane as it crossed Turkish-Syrian border, two presidents reestablished relations.
The failed coup in Turkey pushed Recep Tayyip Erdogan to treat Russia as “valuable friend” but not as an enemy. It was also a response to worsening Turkey-U.S. relationship as Turkey belived that Fethullah Gülen, a U.S.-based cleric, was behind the attempt.
Erdogan was also unhappy about what he sees as tepid support from the U.S. and the E.U. following the coup. During Tuesday’s press conference, he emphasized his gratitude to Putin for being the first leader to call him. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavuşoğlu earlier thanked Moscow, noting that Ankara had received “unconditional” support from Russia — “unlike other countries.”
At a news conference on Tuesday the two leaders announced they were restoring their bilateral relationship to the levels it was before the shootdown last November.
Putin repeatedly referred to Erdogan as a "dear friend," saying "this meeting has a very significant importance for the fate of the Russia-Turkey relationship." "Both parties are determined to improve bilateral relations and it is my assumption that the communities of both countries have this expectation of us,"
A major focus of the announcement was on restoring lucrative economic and trade ties - a move that will benefit the fragile economies of both countries. Russia is one of Turkey's most important export markets, and a key supplier of energy. Warming of the relations will also eliminate the ban on Turkish agricultural imports following the shootdown, as well as a ban on charter flights between the countries, which reduced the flow of Russian tourists into Turkey.
Another issue was that two presidents discussed the Syrian conflict. A Turkish delegation including foreign ministry, military and defense officials will travel to Russia for follow-up talks on Wednesday.