Putin, Erdogan Agree on Mending Rift

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says after talks with Russia's President Vladimir Putin that the two nations can rebuild their damaged ties and make them even closer.

Calling Putin his "dear friend," Erdogan said Turkey is ready to implement a natural gas pipeline project with Russia and a deal to build Turkey's first nuclear power plant.

Putin, in his turn, said that the flow of Russian tourists to Turkey, halted after the downing of a Russian jet by Turkey in November, will resume.

Putin added that he and Erdogan will have a separate discussion on Syria later Tuesday involving top military and intelligence officials to search for common ground in the crisis, where Moscow and Ankara have backed the opposing sides.


ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has arrived in Russia for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin aimed at repairing ties shattered by Turkey's downing of a Russian warplane along the Syrian border last year.

With Tuesday's visit, Erdogan may also be hoping to play the Russian card to strengthen his hand in disputes with the United States and European Union.

For his part, Putin is interested in mending the rift with Turkey in the hopes of reviving key economic projects, including a much-touted pipeline to carry natural gas to Turkey, and expanding Russia's clout in Syria.

The downing of the Russian jet in November, which Putin described as a "treacherous stab in the back," came amid boiling tensions over Syria, where Moscow and Ankara back opposing sides in the war.