Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says Moscow is ready to lift visa restrictions for the Turkish holders of special and service passports as well as for drivers engaged in cargo transportation between the two countries.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (L) and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (R) hold a joint press conference after their meeting in Moscow, Russia on August 24, 2018.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (L) and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (R) hold a joint press conference after their meeting in Moscow, Russia on August 24, 2018. (AA)

Russia and Turkey have agreed to establish a mechanism to restore a visa-free regime between the two countries, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced.

Russia is ready to lift visa restrictions for the Turkish holders of special and service passports as well as for drivers engaged in cargo transportation between the two countries, Lavrov told reporters after meeting with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu in Moscow. 

"We have confirmed Russia's readiness to hold talks on simplifying the travel regime for certain categories of Turkish citizens on a reciprocal basis, and we will do this in the near future,” said Lavrov.

“We agreed to establish a mechanism for consultations on the development of agreements on this subject."

Journalist Daria Bondarchuk has more from Moscow.

'Strategic partner'

Calling Russia a “strategic partner,” Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglu stressed the importance of further developing bilateral ties with Russia.

“We will both improve bilateral relations between the two countries for [providing] stability and economic development in the region, and we will boost our cooperation on regional matters,” he said.

Without naming any country, he said that some countries and individuals were "jealous" of Turkey and Russia’s close cooperation and friendship.

Cavusoglu also expressed pleasure at the growing number of Russian tourists visiting Turkey.

“We will be very happy to welcome some six million our Russian friends to our country this year,” he said.

Cavusoglu said 2019 will be declared the Year of Culture and Tourism between the two countries, expressing the hope that this will serve to attract even more Russian tourists.

Source: AA