6 December 2004
LAVROV: RUSSIA INTENDS TO BROADEN COOPERATION WITH TURKEY IN STRUGGLE AGAINST TERRORISM
ANKARA, December 6 (RIA Novosti, Arseny Oganesyan) - Russia "intends to broaden its interaction with Turkey in the struggle against terrorism, separatism, ethnic and religious extremism, and organized crime. This concerns, in particular, blocking the channels of material and financial fuelling of terrorist organizations and bandit formations." Russia's Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov stated this in the article published in the Turkish newspaper Probe in connection with the current visit of president Vladimir Putin of Russia to Turkey.
In Mr. Lavrov's opinion, it is possible to make countering terrorism effective only through solidary efforts of all countries, and not only because terrorism threatens all. Terrorism encroaches on the very foundation of human civilization.
Dynamically developing trade and economic cooperation is an important component of Russian-Turkish relations. The Russian Foreign Minister noted that, according to the preliminary estimates, this year trade could exceed $7 billion. Russia is confidently taking second place in Turkey's foreign trade. Russian companies participate in the tenders for building hydroelectric stations, thermal power plants and power-transmission lines in Turkey, and display interest in the local oil and gas market. For their part, Turkish firms are very interested, too. Over the past 10-15 years they have concluded contracts worth approximately $12 billion in Russia, with more than half of them having been already fulfilled. The Turkish construction workers build facilities in Moscow and the Moscow Region, in Petersburg, Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, the Sverdlovsk, Vladimir and Ryazan Regions, and the Krasnodar Territory.
The Minister believes, however, that we have many unused reserves. There are possibilities, in particular, to establish closer economic interaction in the Eurasian format in modernizing the industrial projects built in Turkey with our economic assistance. Moscow pins great hopes on Russian companies' participation in the construction of the Torul and Deriner hydroelectric stations and a section of a high-speed tramway line in Istanbul, and in modernising the metallurgical combine in Iskenderun, as well as on supplies of the Lada-Niva cars to Turkey.
"Russia will continue building its relations with Turkey on the principles of mutual respect, mutual understanding and pragmatism. Such an approach fully accords with the long-term interests of Russia and Turkey, and helps strengthen stability and security in the region and all over the world," Sergei Lavrov pointed out.