Russia hopes cooperation with Turkey to continue after Erdogan’s criticism

Kremlin hopes to preserve close ties with Ankara after President Erdogan’s critical remarks on Russian history and Moscow’s role in East Ukraine crisis

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Presidential spokesman of Russian Federation, Dmitry Peskov said on Monday Moscow is hoping the bilateral relations with Ankara will be improved even if Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticised Russia’s stance towards the 1915 Armenian events.

Peskov stressed that Russia and Turkey had many joint projects in recent years which rapidly increased economic interdependence and political rapprochement between the parties. "We hope that the further development of comprehensive cooperation is a priority for Turkey," Peskov said.

He added that Russian President Vladimir Putin had been informed about Erdogan’s remarks which addressed a sequence of issues related with Russia’s official position on the 1915 events, and the Kremlin’s responsibility in East Ukraine’s separatist cause.

Before his departure to Kuwait on late Monday, Turkey’s President Erdogan stressed Ankara’s discontent with Russian President Putin’s recent visit to Yerevan where he had acknowledged the 1915 events as “genocide.”

Erdogan said he was personally upset over Putin’s calling of the 1915 Armenian incidents as “genocide,” by adding that he had frankly expressed his views to President Putin.

Russian President’s aide Peskov had defended before that Putin’s visit to Armenia for the centennial anniversary of the Armenian incidents together with French President François Hollande would not affect on Russia’s good relations with Turkey.

The Kremlin had already recognised the 1915 events as “genocide” in 1999 and took its position with Yerevan although Russia is among the three mediators of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group in the long time frozen conflict of Nagorno-Karabakh.

The Turkish president continued as saying that “if some steps will be taken towards the recognition of such mass killings in the past, then Russia must take into consideration of its-own history first.”

Erdogan underlined Russia’s role and responsibility in Ukrainian crisis by highlighting annexation of Crimea together with separatist war in Luhansk and Donetsk. He said: “Russia must give an explanation for all those issues first.”

Turkey claims that the 1915 events cannot be recognised as “genocide” in the parliaments of third party countries. Rather, Ankara believes an international commission consisting of historians of the late Ottoman era would decide what actually happened in 1915.

For this purpose, Turkey opened over one million documents accessible online and call for the other parties to open their archives to historians studying the issue. Last week, Ankara also announced it will make accessible its military archives for the sake of properly understanding the issue.

TRTWorld and agencies