Russia has good ties with Turkey but will sometimes disagree, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Feb. 15.
“We have a very good relationship with Turkey. It does not mean that we must agree on all the issues. I strongly believe that in the relations between any two countries there cannot be a complete consensus on any problem,” TASS cited Lavrov as saying at the Munich Security Council.
“Once it takes place, it resembles a bit some pressure which results in this assent,” he added.
Turkey is purchasing a Russian S-400 missile defense system in defiance of its NATO allies but the two countries support opposing sides in Libya. The fighting in northwestern Syria has led to testy exchanges between Russia, which supports an offensive by Syrian troops and Turkey which has deployed its own soldiers to support insurgents trying to halt the advance.
During his speech, Lavrov commented on the Astana peace process, saying that it was brought to life by Turkey, Russia and Iran since “no tangible results could be achieved in the United Nations.”
“Moreover, we advocated for the opposition not to bring immigrants who live in other capitals, but those who have a real influence on people fighting on the ground with the Syrian army. We managed to do it,” Lavrov said.
“It is the so-called Astana process. We are sincerely grateful to Kazakhstan for providing a hospitable venue in its capital,” he added.
According to the Russian foreign minister, the Astana process remains “the most efficient tool in facilitating the UN to promote the goals of Security Council’s Resolution 2254.”
Lavrov also said that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s “victory over terrorists is unavoidable” in Idlib. He called the area “one of the last hotbeds of terrorism” in war-ravaged Syria.