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‘Turkish-Russian cooperation reshaping world’

Stronger military and energy ties between Russia and Turkey are reshaping the world, said participants at a forum in Turkey’s capital Ankara on Thursday.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin “laid the foundation to build a new world architecture” with the TurkStream natural gas project, retired Russian Gen. Aleksandr Vladimirov told the “Turkey-Russia Relations: Shaping the Future” forum.

The TurkStream project is an export gas pipeline set to cross beneath the Black Sea from Russia to Turkey and extend to Turkey’s borders with neighboring countries.

“Only through dialogue can the problems in the world be solved,” Vladimirov added.

Ilya Kramnik, a defense and security expert from the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC), said that after 2015, military ties between Turkey and Russia began to see new developments.

Pointing to the 2017 agreement for Turkey to buy Russian-made S-400 air defense systems, set to be delivered next year, Kramnik said: “There was no cooperation agreement of this dimension before.”

Kramnik underlined that Turkey’s defense industry products have also gotten Russia’s attention.

“Turkey has achieved great success in unmanned aerial vehicles,” he said, adding that there may be cooperation between the two countries on this.

Yusuf Alabarda, a retired Turkish officer and security expert, said military cooperation between Turkey and Russia has gained momentum, adding that “serious steps” have been taken in the Turkish defense industry in recent years.

On Monday, the Turkish and Russian presidents attended a ceremony in Istanbul marking completion of a key section of the TurkStream pipeline.

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