Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, in an interview with the Belarusian state television, touched upon relations with Turkey after negotiations between Russia and Ukraine were held in Istanbul.
He pointed out that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is a great and strong political leader and said: "Turkey is a very significant regional power and country. Our relations with Turkey are excellent."
He noted that there are different views on relations between the two countries and at some points, the sides do not fully agree with each other.
"But the relationship based on mutual interests is dominant, so the two countries are developing big economic projects."
"Turkey has always been a sufficiently large regional power, and Turkey has been a member of NATO for many years,” he said. "However, despite this, it became the most dominant state among the NATO member sovereign states, especially during the presidency of Erdoğan. And this country is a country that has the luxury of defending its interests.”
Citing that Turkish authorities told NATO and the United States that Ankara was not interested in participating in sanctions against Russia, Peskov said it is also economically important that Turkey and Russia continue the dialogue.
"This is very valuable. We attribute a lot of value to it,” he said.
Referring to strengthening cooperation between Turkey and Russia in tourism and energy, he noted: "We have a good perspective with Turkey.”
"We are pleased that Erdoğan has found the strength to defend and follow his interests, the interests of his country and is not in the mainstream (like Europe).
"As you know, now all Europeans are in the mainstream but on their own account,” he said.
"They spend, Washington makes money. Because of its anger at Russia, Europe is shooting itself in the foot,” he said.