Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s opening remarks at the 8th meeting of the Russian-Turkish Joint Strategic Planning Group, Sochi, December 29, 2020
My dear Mevlut,
Colleagues and friends,
We are happy to welcome you to the 8th meeting of the Joint Strategic Planning Group. Our talks will cover a broad range of issues we need to prepare for consideration at the next High-Level Cooperation Council meeting. The presidents of our two countries will hold the meeting as soon as they have the opportunity to do so.
This year, despite the pandemic, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have maintained close contact. They met three times face-to-face and once at the tripartite summit in the Astana format that was held as a videoconference. They spoke by telephone about 20 times. These statistics alone indicate what a vast range of issues our partnership covers on both the bilateral agenda and international regional matters. Today, we will look into what is happening in the economy, our political dialogue, in cultural and educational exchanges, our religious ties and tourism.
Our international agenda is extremely diversified. It includes the efforts in the Astana format on Syria, the cooperation on the settlement process in Libya and other parts of the Middle East, and the Nagorno-Karabakh issues that have recently taken centre stage. The geography of our cooperation also includes the Black Sea region and Central Asia. We expect this effective discussion to continue.
Globally, we cooperate in multilateral institutions, primarily, in the UN, the OSCE and the Council of Europe.
The discussion of all these issues allows us to coordinate our positions and better understand each other. We highly appreciate our multipronged and trust-based dialogue.
We expect the talks to keep us very busy. Hopefully, hospitable Sochi will help us render them effective.