Russia working on plans to allow visa-free travel for Turks

An official from the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs says that Russia is working on plans to remove visa travel requirements for Turkish citizens

Russia is removing visa travel requirements for Turkish citizens, said an official from the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday.
“The process is currently underway. Businessmen and official delegations will benefit initially,” said the official.The Turkey-Russia High Level Cooperation Council will meet early this year. Two of the three main mechanisms of the Council, the Mixed Economic Commission and the Joint Strategic Planning Group, have already met. The work of the third mechanism, the Turkish-Russian Community Forum, aims to continue its community and political work between the two countries.

Turkey-Russia ties

Turkey and Russia have not let the assassination of Russian ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, negatively impact diplomatic relations.

Despite differing views on Assad and his government, Turkey and Russia together brokered the nation-wide ceasefire deal across Syria.

The relationship between the two nations has improved significantly, as Turkey has strengthened many of its international diplomatic ties.

Preparations for Astana talks underway

A Russian delegation was in Ankara this week to discuss the technical details of the Syria peace talks to take place in Astana.
Preparations have been accelerated following a fall in the number of ceasefire violations by regime forces in Syria.

Negotiations to reach a political resolution to the six-year war in Syria are due to begin in Astana between the Syrian government and opposition on January 23.

Natural gas pipeline

Turkey and Russia are also resuming earlier discussions to build a pipeline across the Black Sea. The natural gas project would consist of two stages, said the official from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“The first stage aims to substitute gas imported to Turkey from Ukraine, Romania and Bulgaria, and the second stage aims to send gas to Europe,” reported the official.

Expressing that the construction of the line depends on the decision to be taken between Russia and the EU, the official said that if the gas demand comes from Europe, this line would be economically feasible.