Andrey Karlov said in an interview about the current situation in Russian-Turkish relations, the prospects of establishing bilateral dialogue and the specifics of Russian diplomats in Turkey.
– Is it possible in the short term, the normalization of relations between Moscow and Ankara? What are the conditions? Suffers from limitations, in particular, the tourism sector, Russian tourists are still in Turkey. How are we going to solve this issue?
– Would like at the outset to note that the Turkish air force attack on a Russian military plane su-24 was an unprecedented challenge for our state. Narabatyvaya over the years the trust and the positive in Russian-Turkish relations had been undermined. Currently, bilateral cooperation in several areas has been suspended. I stress that this was not our choice.
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The President of Russia Vladimir Putin outlined the conditions for overcoming a crisis in bilateral relations: Turkey must make a formal apology for the destruction of Russian bombers, to compensate for damages and punish the perpetrators. However, after two months, we not only hear from Ankara a clear apology, but, on the contrary, the Turkish government acts with increasingly bellicose statements against Russia. We absolutely unfounded accused of violations of Turkish airspace, attacks on civilians in Syria. In such circumstances, I do not see any prospects of normalization of relations.
In recent years we have managed to considerably promote bilateral cooperation with Turkey. So, in 2014, the trade turnover between our countries exceeded $30 billion, and in Turkish resorts came to rest nearly 4.5 million Russians. Developed investment activity.
According to some estimates, the damage to the Turkish economy introduced by our country in response to the hostile action of Turkey’s restrictive measures could exceed $11 billion in 2016. It forecasts the Turkish analytical centers, and not the notorious “Russian propaganda”. The greatest losses will incur the tourism and agricultural sector.
Would like to stress once again that the future of bilateral relations depends entirely on the Turkish side. If it does not change its position, frozen not our fault contacts will not regenerate.
– Continue to receive reports of alleged violations by Russian military planes of Turkish air space. Sought by Ankara, trying to prove that Russia once again violated the airspace of the country? What is this, some kind of information campaign, how can You comment on this? What will be our actions in the face of such accusations?
Unfortunately, in recent years, Turkey increasingly acts with such unproven allegations. Often such misinformation launches anti-Russian campaign in the Turkish media, or becomes a part of them.
The defense Ministry refuted statements of Turkey of violation of the Russian su-34 Turkish border
From the beginning of the operation the Russian HQs in Syria, we have acted openly. The Ministry of defense of Russia regularly briefs foreign military attaches, media on the results of the fight against terrorist organizations, including using videos and satellite imagery. We decided not to conceal the only case of confirmed violations of our aircraft Turkish air space in October 2015. Moreover, apologies for the incident were brought to Turkey at the highest level. However, in all other cases, including 24 November 2015, when was shot down the su-24, Turkish claims were proved groundless. Despite our request to demonstrate the data of objective control, Ankara has not provided facts that would corroborate her assertions.
According to the President of Turkey, “violation” 29 January 2016 was first recorded in NATO. However, the Alliance was unable to produce any convincing evidence of this.
Such anti-Russian campaign is not in line with the statements of the Turkish leadership’s intention to restore the dialogue with Russia.
– The world is becoming more highly competitive. We are especially worried about the attempts to incite inter-civilization and inter-religious conflicts. What are the specifics of work of diplomats in today’s environment? That fundamentally changed the challenges faced by the Embassy in Ankara?
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– I think that the tasks of the Embassy and in General of the diplomatic service always remain the same. Chief among them is the protection of the national interests of Russia.
As for our work in Turkey in conditions when bilateral relations were in deep crisis, on the foreground there is the clarification of Russia’s position in the Turkish public, business and political circles. Because often, another source of undistorted information about the Russian approach among Turkish citizens may simply not be. Of course, we don’t forget about permanently residing here our compatriots.
– How different the attitude to Russians in Turkey, including diplomatic staff?
– Of course, we note how it increased the proportion of critical stories about Russia in the Turkish media. Some public opinion polls already show that our country is perceived increasingly a part of the Turkish population as the enemy. However, we do not feel the negative attitude on the part of ordinary citizens. Do not face him and in contacts with Turkish colleagues. In conversations we traditionally maintain a professional, businesslike approach.
I would like to recall the words of Russian President Vladimir Putin that we do not put an equal sign between the part of the leaderships of Turkey and friendly Turkish people. In Turkish society there are people who share our point of view on the events in Syria and the region. We have here really a lot of reliable and good friends. I am sure that any advocacy efforts this friendship is not broken.
Talked to Anastasia Filimonova and Julia Nemchenko