5 Oct, MOSCOW- President Vladimir Putin will meet his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul on October 10, the Kremlin said Tuesday, as the countries mend ties shattered by Ankara’s shooting down of a Russian warplane last year.
“The visit will be on October 10,” Interfax news agency quoted Kremlin aide Yury Ushakov as saying. “There will be a speech at the World Energy Congress and a bilateral meeting.”
This year’s congress will be held in Istanbul.
The visit to Turkey will be Putin’s first since Ankara downed a Russian warplane on the Syrian border in November 2015 in what the Kremlin branded a “planned provocation”.
The incident prompted Putin to slap sanctions on Turkey and launch a blistering war of words that dealt serious damage to burgeoning bilateral ties.
But in a shock reversal in June, Putin accepted a letter from Erdogan expressing regret over the incident.
The Kremlin quickly rolled back a ban on the sale of package holidays to Turkey and signalled that Moscow would end measures against Turkish food imports and restore full trade ties with Ankara.
Erdogan visited Saint Peterburg for a landmark reunion with Putin in August, their first encounter since the plane incident sent relations into disarray.
While both leaders pledged to reinvigorate ties, they conspicuously skirted round the key issue that divides them — the war in Syria.
The countries are on opposing sides in the Syrian conflict, with Ankara backing rebels fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad, while Moscow is Damascus’s key ally.
The crisis in relations with Moscow dealt a blow to Turkey’s tourism industry, with the number of Russian tourists drastically declining at holiday resorts along the Mediterranean coast. (AFP)