Dmitry Medvedev's news conference following the BSEC meeting
22 May 2017 17:00 Istanbul, Turkey
The Prime Minister answered questions from Russian media.
A visit to Russia’s Consulate-General in Istanbul
Dmitry Medvedev: Russian Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Turkey Andrei Karlov was killed in Ankara on 19 December 2016. He was shot in the presence of many people, and the photographs of his murder spread around the world within minutes.
Andrei Karlov was a career diplomat from a family of diplomats. He upheld the interests of his country faithfully and courageously, doing his best to promote ties with Turkey at a difficult period in our bilateral relations.
Dmitry Medvedev holds a news conference
Today, a memorial plaque to Hero of the Russian Federation Andrei Karlov has been unveiled in the Russian Consulate General in Istanbul, in the ambassadorial gallery memorialising renowned Russian diplomats.
Question: What concrete results did the BSEC meeting yield?The murder of a diplomat whose task is to develop bilateral relations is a heinous crime. The duty of a diplomat, his service, is special, and Andrei Karlov gave his all to it. We will never forget this.
Dmitry Medvedev: Today its members demonstrated their desire to develop economic cooperation in the Black Sea area. The members of the Organisation of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation include more than just the countries that have access to the Black Sea because the development of many border countries depends on the economic progress of the Black Sea area.
We discussed what was done in the past 25 years and how best to use BSEC instruments. We have a bank and Russia has a meaningful share in it. Dozens of projects have been funded but there could have been more. This depends on the initiative of the BSEC member states.
We have started financing project activities and allocated the first sums for such projects. We would like to hope that other countries will follow suit.
There are many transnational projects for Black Sea cooperation, for instance, the so-called Ring Road. If we carry out this project, perhaps with the participation of a number of countries outside the region, it would be useful for the entire Black Sea area.
Question: Today the Ukrainian representative had some very tough words. He said the differences between Russia and other members on the status of Crimea are actually blocking the work of BSEC. Is this really so and how will this affect Russia’s participation in the work of BSEC under the Ukrainian chairmanship?
Dmitry Medvedev: I think our Ukrainian colleague made his point, so to speak. He had instructions from the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry and read them from a piece of paper in Ukrainian. However, this has not changed our position on Crimea in any way, which is based on the will of the citizens of Crimea and the changes made to the Constitution of the Russian Federation.
As for the Ukrainian chairmanship, if the goal of it is to develop economic relations, we are open to this. Ukraine was hardest hit by the destruction of relations with the Russian Federation and other members of the Eurasian Economic Union, because these relations are significantly linked with us in one way or another.
If they want to promote cooperation in the Black Sea area, we are open to this; if they don’t want to, that’s up to them. The Ring Road project would certainly be useful for all states, including Ukraine, but such projects cannot be carried out without the consent of all states.
We will continue working under the Ukrainian chairmanship and in other periods. We believe this organisation does useful work.
Question: Today a declaration on lifting reciprocal trade restrictions was adopted with Turkey. When will the corresponding decision by the Government follow, and what commodity groups will it concern?
Dmitry Medvedev: The decision will follow immediately, according to Government regulations. My colleagues will prepare amendments to certain governmental acts and I will sign them. We have reached an agreement with Turkey: we will be taking reciprocal steps because certain restrictions existed on Turkey’s end as well.
As for commodity groups, it’s mostly fruit and vegetables, except tomatoes, as we have maintained our position in view of the investments that we have made in the industry and which, we believe, should not be wasted. This concerns restrictions on using labour and the so-called sectoral restrictions on doing business along different lines, including construction and some others. Governmental acts will be adopted along all these lines. We expect symmetrical decisions on certain items on Turkey’s part.
Question: How do you assess the security situation at Turkish resorts?
Dmitry Medvedev: The security situation at Turkish resorts depends on decisions adopted by Turkey because tourist safety is completely the responsibility of the host country and the companies involved. However, we cannot turn a blind eye to this issue. We have prepared a special document entitled “Recommendations for Our Turkish Partners” which could be used to guarantee the necessary level of safety for tourists.
Our Turkish partners received these recommendations with gratitude and are trying to follow them. We proceed from the assumption that, within the bounds of the agreements reached, Turkish authorities will do their best to provide security for the large number of Russian tourists arriving in Turkey for summer holidays.
Question: Construction of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline has begun. What are the prospects of this project? How is the process of coordinating the extension of Turkish Stream through Europe going?
Dmitry Medvedev: This is an ambitious infrastructure project, which promotes the development of our country, Turkey and the whole of Europe. Turkish Stream did not come out of nowhere: it is the realisation of previously adopted ideas and existing projects, on the one hand, and the result of the European Union’s refusal to implement the South Stream project, on the other hand. We think the decision went beyond economic considerations and primarily affected European countries themselves. But that project was shuttered, and now we are working on Turkish Stream. We began to lay the underwater part of the pipeline, which will have a length of almost 1,000 kilometres. The surface section of about 200 kilometres will be built in Turkey.
In total the pipeline will consist of two lines, with the first to completely focus on the Turkish market and the second to supply gas to European states.
Through negotiations with a number of European countries (including Greece and Bulgaria), we are determining the entry point in Europe. There are different proposals.
First of all, when making such decisions, we should analyse economic factors, as the gas pipeline is not a political but purely economic project. And after that, the capabilities of other European countries will be added in.
Ultimately, the implementation of these plans on the European continent, in EU countries, depends on decisions to be taken by European countries. We are not going to impose on anyone. We believe this is an interesting, mutually beneficial project that requires necessary decisions to be taken. Based on these factors, consultations are underway regarding which countries will participate in supplies as part of the second line of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline.
Dmitry Medvedev visits Russia’s Consulate-General in Istanbul
22 May 2017 16:20 Istanbul, Turkey
The Prime Minister took part in the unveiling ceremony of a memorial plaque devoted to Russian Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Turkey Andrei Karlov.
A visit to Russia’s Consulate-General in Istanbul
22 May 2017
A visit to Russia’s Consulate-General in Istanbul
22 May 2017
A visit to Russia’s Consulate-General in IstanbulПредыдущая новостьСледующая новость
22 May 2017 13:00 Istanbul, Turkey
After the talks, a joint statement on lifting bilateral trade restrictions was signed.
Meeting with Prime Minister of Turkey Binali Yildirim
22 May 2017
Signing of a joint statement on the bilateral removal of trade restrictions
22 May 2017
Meeting with Prime Minister of Turkey Binali YildirimПредыдущая новостьСледующая новость
Dmitry Medvedev meets with President of the Republic of Moldova Igor Dodon
22 May 2017 12:00 Istanbul, Turkey
Excerpts from Dmitry Medvedev’s meeting with President of the Republic of Moldova Igor Dodon
Meeting with President of the Republic of Moldova Igor Dodon
Igor Dodon: On behalf of Moldova, I would like to thank Russia for the specific steps it has taken since the beginning of this year. There has been significant progress on the issues agreed with Vladimir Putin in early January, including in terms of exports and migration policies. In the first three months of this year, Moldova’s exports to the Russian Federation increased 42 percent, and surged five to seven times in specific product categories that are of special interest to us, such as agricultural products, wine and apples.
Thank you very much for the assistance Russia provides to our immigrants. There have been several legalisation waves in Russia, and tens of thousands of immigrants were able to obtain legal status.
Dmitry Medvedev: We are meeting on the sidelines of the meeting of the Organisation for Black Sea Cooperation, which is a great opportunity to compare notes and assess progress in the implementation of your agreements with the Russian President, as well as the overall state of economic cooperation. In recent years there have been quite a few issues, but we now have an opportunity to move forward and resolve the existing issues. Let’s discuss the approaches that can be used, including those that can help solve the system-wide issues that have accumulated in relations between our two countries recently. I hope they will be resolved in the future.
22 May 2017 11:00 Istanbul, Turkey
List of heads of delegations taking part in the meeting of heads of state and government of the Organisation of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation member states:
Group photo of heads of delegations from the Organisation of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation member states
Group photo of heads of delegations from the Organisation of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation member states.
Speaker of the Milli Mejlis of the Azerbaijan Republic Oktay Asadov
Deputy Foreign Minister of the Republic of Albania Halil Hyseni
Deputy Foreign Minister of the Republic of Armenia Ashot Hovakimian
Vice President of the Republic of Bulgaria Iliana Yotova
President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopis Pavlopoulos
First Deputy Prime Minister, Finance Minister of Georgia Dimitry Kumsishvili
President of the Republic of Moldova Igor Dodon
Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev
Foreign Minister of Romania Teodor-Viorel Meleşcanu
First Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Serbia Ivica Dacic
President of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan
First Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine Stepan Kubiv
Secretary General of the Organisation of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Michael Christides
Dmitry Medvedev’s remarks
Excerpts from the transcript:
The decision to create the Organisation of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) was a far-reaching one. A pragmatic forum of countries that differ politically, economically and historically, BSEC has nevertheless managed to create an atmosphere of trust. It has proved its expedience as an effective mechanism that offers broad cooperation opportunities in 18 areas.
Bilateral trade between Russia and many BSEC countries grew substantially last year, yet the overall trade volume between BSEC countries continued to decrease largely due to insufficient investment and imbalances in trade structures.
Russia is a party to agreements on trade facilitation and sectoral cooperation. Russia is working in several formats. We are developing the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and creating a barrier-free environment for the movement of goods. The EAEU is open to interaction. Last year, we created a special free trade zone with Vietnam and several other countries. We should work towards creating a common space for all integration associations, including Eurasian partnership, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and several other organisations.
Our organisation could become more closely integrated into the regional system of cooperation. We should develop strong ties with other international and regional organisations, banks and foundations in order to use them to create a broad comprehensive partnership.
Like other countries here, we are implementing many large bilateral projects with our BSEC partners in aircraft manufacturing, machine building, the chemical industry and metallurgy.
There are not enough multilateral projects. A mechanism for project-oriented cooperation has been created at Russia’s initiative. This approach can be also used in vital areas such as energy efficiency, green technology, SME development and export support.
We must boost the development of modern technology such as the IT infrastructure and bolster transport connectivity, including navigation on the Black Sea by creating new routes, promoting ferry and multimodal transport, modernising port infrastructure and building a ring road around the Black Sea. It would be wise to do this in relation to other international programmes in the region, including in integration formats; all the more so since several such formats can be used to achieve the BSEC goals that were formulated during the organisation’s establishment.
The Black Sea is our common wealth and heritage. All of us want to make it a region of stability and prosperity and draw practical economic benefits from our proximity to the sea. I am convinced that we can do this.