Turkey, Russia determined to boost ties: Erdogan

Turkish and Russian presidents meet for first time in St. Petersburg since ties deteriorated last November, according to Anadolu Agency.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said Turkey and Russia are determined to boost ties to levels even beyond what they were before the jet crisis erupted last November.

In remarks made during a joint news conference with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in the Russian city of St. Petersburg following their meeting, Erdogan said: “Both sides are immensely determined and have the necessary will to move our relations back to previous levels again and even beyond them.

The Turkish president also revealed that Turkey and Russia had agreed on establishing a joint investment fund and boosting cooperation in the defense sector.

This is the first time both leaders have met following the downing of a Russian warplane last November over airspace violation.

About the Turkish Stream pipeline, Erdogan said the project would now be executed “as fast as possible.”

Announced by Putin in December 2014 during a visit to Ankara, the Turkish Stream plans to carry Russian gas via the Black Sea and Turkey to southeastern Europe. The project was shelved following the crisis in November 2015 when a Turkish Air Force warplane shot down a Russian jet over the Turkey-Syria border.