Turkish military’s cross-border operation in Syria was “not something unexpected” for Russia, President Vladimir Putin said Monday.
Speaking at a press conference following the G20 Hangzhou Summit in China, Putin said: “Turkey’s operation in Syria was not something unexpected for us. Foreign Affairs and Intelligence exist so that we face fewer unexpected developments. We understood what was going on and where things would lead.”
Putin said Russia maintained dialogue with Turkey and the U.S. over Syria, and would not support anything that was not in line with international law.
He also said the foreign ministries of Russia and the U.S. were working on some pre-agreements.
“I think we are on the right path and we can agree on some mutual steps to improve the situation in Syria. Of course, we also need to discuss this with the Syrian regime and Iran,” he said.
Turkish army launched Operation Euphrates Shield on Aug. 24 in order to improve border security, support coalition forces, and eliminate the threat posed by terrorist organizations, especially Daesh.
As for the normalization of Turkey-Russia relations, Putin said the process was ongoing and both peoples sincerely wanted to improve bilateral ties.
Ties between Moscow and Ankara entered a new phase following the Aug. 9 meeting between Erdogan and Putin in St. Petersburg.
Relations between the two countries soured last November after the downing of the Russian jet, which had violated Turkish airspace along the Syrian border.
The issue seemed largely resolved on June 29 through a letter and subsequent telephone calls between the countries’ leaders.
On June 30, Russia lifted a ban on tourist flights to Turkey following a phone conversation between Putin and Erdogan.
Turkish and Russian foreign ministers later met in the Russian city of Sochi on July 1.
Putin gave his support to Turkey over the July 15 coup attempt and said he stood by the elected government, offering his condolences to victims of what Erdogan called the “most heinous” armed coup attempt in modern Turkish history.
On July 22, Russia also lifted restrictions on flights to Turkey, which had been implemented temporarily following the coup attempt, after Turkish officials assured their Russian counterparts that additional security measures were being taken.
*Reporting by Hakan Ceyhan Aydogan; Writing by Hale TurkesAnadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.