Working Meeting on “Turkish-Russian Relations” with RIAC
March 25, 2014
As part of its Track-II consultations, Global Relations Forum organized a working meeting on Turkish-Russian relations with the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) and the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IOS RAS) in Moscow on March 25, 2014. During the first half of the meeting, the participants discussed current trends in Turkish-Russian bilateral relations; security issues and opportunities for cooperation in the Middle East, Central Asia and the Caucasus region as well as the perspectives of Russia and Turkey towards the Crimean crisis. In the second half of the meeting, they exchanged views on the content of the draft joint Turkish-Russian paper.
In their opening speeches, RIAC President and former Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation Igor Ivanov, former Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Turkish Republic Ertuğrul Apakan, Former Russian Ambassador to Ankara Petr Stegny, Turkish Ambassador to Moscow Aydın Sezgin, IOS RAC Director Vitaly Naumkin, GRF Vice-Chairman and President Memduh Karakullukçu and Director General of RIAC Andrey Kortunov all emphasized that some issues such as the Crimean crisis might be challenging for Turkish-Russian relations but those problems can be overcome by various solutions including Track-II efforts. During the meeting, the participants including also Russian and Turkish experts, exchanged views on regional dynamics along with the opportunities for cooperation in maintaining peace and stability. Some areas such as education and research cooperation as well as the migration issue were defined as untapped areas, having potential to be worked on at the institutional level in the long-term.
During the first half of the meeting, the Turkish side underlined the sensitivity of Turkey regarding the status of the Crimean Tatars and emphasized the predictability principle and trust in bilateral relations with regard to regional dynamics. The importance of Turkish-Russian Relations in solving global problems and defining common values was also underlined. The Russian side stated that crises such as Crimea offer a platform which hint countries’ readiness to continue dialogue and advance mutual cooperation. The Russian side also asserted that both Turkey and Russia are interested in peace and stability of the region and recent developments in Crimea should not overshadow the cooperation between the two countries.