Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak on Friday said Moscow was seeing additional areas to boost cooperation with Turkey, spearheaded by transport and logistics, as he stressed their growing trade partnership.
Turkey has been for years “a very important economic and trade partner” for Russia,” Novak told Anadolu Agency (AA).
“(Russian) President (Vladimir) Putin and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan are constantly in contact, the tasks on increasing the trade turnover are being implemented,” the official said.
The bilateral trade between the two countries grew by 57% last year to $33 billion, he added.
Russia ranked 10th among Turkey’s biggest export markets last year and came in second when it comes to imports.
“Big investment projects are being implemented both in Russia and Turkey – TurkStream, Akkuyu, a car plant Gaz, producing trucks, was built, and many other projects,” Novak said.
Russia and Turkey are also tied in the tourism and construction sectors, he said.
The two countries created special economic zones and provided support to small and medium-sized businesses to ensure the trade turnover, he added.
“Currently, we see additional niches for the development of such business between our countries, including creating a transport-logistics hub in Turkey to deliver goods to Russia, and also from Russia to Turkey, including the deliveries of equipment that is not produced in Russia, localization of production of such equipment in Russia, deliveries from the third countries,” Novak said.
All the issues are being discussed at the level of intergovernmental commissions with the Turkish authorities and also at the level of business to business, he added.
“Today, the second meeting of the business community of Russia and Turkey took place, which is very interested in making proposals for the development of further joint cooperation,” he noted.
Russian and Turkish authorities see their role in helping businesses by eliminating administrative barriers and creating favorable conditions so that they are able to implement projects and decrease expenses, he said.
Novak further said he does not see any setbacks in supplying Russian grain to Turkey. He said Russia has always been a large supplier to Turkey and plans to maintain this position.
“We have always been a major supplier of grain to the Republic of Turkey, so we do not see any particular problems here,” he added.
“These are commercial issues and (companies) agree among themselves, I think that if we have export potential and resources, enough (grain) will be delivered to consumers.”
Turkey has been among the few nations that have maintained relations with both Russia and Ukraine since Moscow’s invasion of its southern neighbor.
While it has criticized Russia’s offensive, Ankara is trying to balance its close ties and has positioned itself as a neutral party attempting to mediate between the warring sides.