Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan hosted Russia's Vladimir Putin at an Ottoman-era villa in Istanbul for talks which touched on energy deals, trade and tourism ties, defense and the conflict in Syria, where the two leaders back opposing sides.
|Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan
"Today has been a full day with President Putin of discussing Russia-Turkish relations ... I have full confidence that the normalization of Turkish-Russian ties will continue at a fast pace," Erdogan told a joint news conference.
The warming relations between NATO member Turkey and Russia comes as both countries are dealing with troubled economies and strained ties with the West.
Putin said Moscow had decided to lift a ban on some food products from Turkey, imposed after the Turks shot down a Russian fighter jet near the Syrian border last November, and that both leaders had agreed to work toward the full-scale normalization of bilateral ties.
They signed a deal on the TurkStream undersea gas pipeline, which will allow Moscow to strengthen its position in the European gas market and cut energy supplies via Ukraine, the main route for Russian energy into Europe.
The plan for TurkStream emerged after Russia dropped plans to build the South Stream pipeline to Bulgaria due to opposition from the European Union, which is trying to reduce its dependence on Russian gas.Reuters/RT