Sign up for PM Award Updates!
 
 

Russian media say Erdogan, Putin meeting ‘turns tragic page’

August 10, 2016

Russian media hailed President Vladimir Putin’s landmark meeting with Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan as a major breakthrough Wednesday after relations between their countries collapsed when Ankara downed a Russian jet in November.

They “decided to turn the tragic page,” wrote pro-Kremlin daily Izvestia, which noted that neither of the men referred directly to the downing of the plane.

“Russia and Turkey have forgotten all their grievances,” wrote Vedomosti business daily, which reported that the agreements reached between Moscow and Ankara on trade, energy and tourism did not extend to the conflict in Syria — which is now the “only unresolved problem”.

“They listened and restored (relations),” wrote Kommersant business daily on its front page.

The encounter forced Erdogan to try to appease Putin as the Russian strongman showed steely body language, Russian media reported.

“The Russian president listened to Erdogan attentively but did not react visibly to his words. The Turkish president… tried to smile but it was noticeable that he was nervous. Putin on the contrary kept his cool,” wrote Kommersant.

– ‘Guilt was acknowledged’ –

“You could see who was to blame, and you could feel that the guilt was acknowledged,” wrote Izvestia pro-Kremlin daily, referring to the Turkish leader.

“Erdogan at least five times called Vladimir Putin a good friend and a respected president and thanked him for the opportunity to meet.”

Kommersant said that the pair concluded an agreement on preventing incidents in Turkish and Syria airspace as well as “proposals on establishing control over the Turkish-Syrian border”.

Russia is carrying out a bombing campaign in support of President Bashar al-Assad while Turkey is fiercely opposed to the Syrian leader.

But there is no hint that Moscow and Ankara have forged a shared vision for the future of Syria, Yelena Suponina, the director of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, told Vedomosti.

Russia and Turkey’s “differences are still in place,” she said, adding that the downing of the Russian plane in Syria was just one dimension of their disagreement over the conflict.

Dispatches from AFP concerning freedom of information, censorship and news coverage in regions where independent media is under threat.