Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has said that his country's collaboration with Turkey is "very difficult, but effective," adding that Ankara being a NATO member impeded their joint works.
"If we talk about relations with Turkey, we are doing very difficult, but very effective work. Collaboration. Difficult because the fact that Turkey is a NATO member hinders it," Shoygu told Kazakh portal tengrinews.kz.
"I would even call it a unique experience when one country is in NATO and the other is not. They find a common language, carry out joint work, joint operations, find compromises where it seems impossible. But we find variants for solution,” Shoygu said, citing the two countries' collaboration in Syria's Idlib.
"We are on joint patrols in northeastern Syria with Turkey today. Together we are engaged in the fight against terrorists. We are working together, quite often in joint airspace. And we regulate and control many crossing points, we deal with refugees together," the minister noted.
Despite being a NATO ally, Turkey has been getting increasingly close to Russia, even purchasing S-400 missile defense systems that caused a major rift between Ankara and Washington.