Kremlin: Putin did not say 'genocide'

Kremlin tries to soothe Turkish anger at genocide comments.

Kremlin: Putin did not say 'genocide'

World Bulletin / News Desk 

Russia hopes relations with Turkey will improve despite President Vladimir Putin’s use of the word “genocide” to describe the deaths of Ottoman Armenians in 1915, the Kremlin has said.

"We hope that the further development of comprehensive cooperation is a priority [for Turkey]," Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said on Monday, the state-run TASS news agency reported.

The description of the events of 1915 as genocide by Putin, as well as his visit to Armenian capital Yerevan to mark the centenary of the tragedy last week, led to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan voicing his sadness at the comments.

"It's not the first time Russia used the word genocide on this issue,” he said. “I'm personally sad that Putin took such a step. What is happening in Ukraine and Crimea is evident. They should first explain these before calling it genocide."

When Austria and the Vatican described the events as genocide, Ankara withdrew its ambassadors. However, Turkey did not announce any diplomatic response to Putin’s comments.

Peskov, a former official at the Russian embassy in Ankara who speaks fluent Turkish, added that Putin had been told of Erdogan's reaction.

Citing joint projects between Russia and Turkey, he added: “We have a lot to do together."

Turkey is a large consumer of Russian gas and Russia is building a multi-billion dollar nuclear power plant on the Mediterranean coast.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 28 Nisan 2015, 11:48