Erdogan Lauds Russia's Role in Turkish Economy

Putin gesturing to Erdogan on Wednesday at talks he hosted in Moscow. Sergei Karpukhin

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday at a meeting with President Vladimir Putin that joint work with Russia in nuclear energy is the most significant investment in recent years in the Turkish economy, adding, "This step has been taken despite the negative attitude that exists in the world on this issue."

"I am confident that, by carrying out activities as planned, the completion of work in a timely manner will reduce the initiatives of its detractors to zero," Erdogan said, Interfax reported.

The joint project to construct the Akkuyu nuclear power plant has investments that amount to about $20 billion.

Putin noted during the meeting with Erdogan that bilateral trade last year increased by 5 percent to reach $34 billion to $35 billion.

"We cooperate effectively in the energy sector. This refers not only to trade in hydrocarbons — Turkey is the steady second-largest consumer of Russian raw materials, but also in high-tech, such as nuclear power," Putin said.

"In recent years, thanks to our joint efforts, especially yours, Mr. Prime Minister, relations between our countries have risen to a very high standard," Putin said.

A source in the arms industry told the news agency that the leaders did not discuss arms sales in spite of earlier reports that the topic was on the agenda.

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