© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

ANKARA, September 28. /TASS/. The President of Russia Vladimir Putin noted the progress in the development of economic cooperation of Russia and Turkey and the increase in tourist exchanges. He said this after talks with Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“When discussing the issues of interaction in trade-economic sphere stated a marked increase in bilateral trade, its volume for 7 months of 2017 increased by 31.5%. If last year we have seen a decline in 32%, now for the first six months we have almost completely regained the lost ground, and for the remainder of the year will a plus,” – said Putin.

He also added that “the number of Russian tourists who chose Turkey as their place of stay, increased – attention I – 11 times” and amounted to 2.5 million people .”

Removing barriers to trade

Russia and Turkey will continue to work towards the elimination of barriers in mutual trade, the abolition of most restrictions on the supply to Russia of Turkish agricultural products has already increased its imports by almost 60%, Putin said.

“[We] will continue on a reciprocal basis, to take joint steps to eliminate barriers to the development of trade and investment cooperation,” the President said, noting that the substantive work of the relevant agencies of the two countries are already allowed to remove “virtually all existing restrictions on deliveries to Russia of Turkish agricultural products”. “As a result, its imports from Turkey in the first half of this year increased by 58.7%,” concluded the Russian head of state.

He thanked his Turkish counterpart and other participants in the talks for a “business and a very constructive conversation.” “I believe that today’s meeting was very useful and very productive”, – said Putin.

Earlier on Thursday told reporters on the sidelines of the talks in Ankara, the press Secretary of the President Dmitry Peskov, the issue of the possibility of importing Turkish tomatoes to Russia, “work in progress”. According to him, representatives of the agriculture ministries of the two countries and control bodies are in constant contact and “nearing a decision”.