Ivanov to Visit Turkey Thursday for Bilateral, Regional Talks
Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov will pay an official visit to Turkey on June 7-8 for bilateral and regional talks with Turkish leaders, reported the Russian Novosti online news agency on Monday.
Ivanov will meet with Turkish business circles and discuss Russian-Turkish relations and a series of international and regional problems, said the news agency.
Relations between the two countries improved late last year during a visit by Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov to Ankara in October, a CNN article said at the time.
Relations between Russia and Turkey have often been tense.
Turkey has long accused Russia of supporting Kurdish rebels fighting for autonomy here, while Moscow has voiced suspicion that Ankara backs Chechen rebels battling Russian forces in the Caucasus region.
The two countries are also vying for influence in Central Asia, an area that both regard as their natural sphere of influence.
Ankara froze weapons deals with Russia after Moscow briefly granted Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan refuge two years ago.
Relations have since improved, particularly with the launching of a multibillion dollar pipeline project to carry Russian natural gas to Turkey and southeastern Europe – Albawaba.com