World Bulletin / News Desk
The Black Sea Economic Cooperation is an opportunity for Russia and Turkey to "sit at the same table", said the head of the organization.
"Sometimes face-saving in a bilateral conflict is very important," says Michael Christides, secretary general of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation, or BSEC. "You need the opportunity to find a way to come together [...] BSEC is also a face-saving opportunity."
His remarks over the recent tension between the two countries came at a meeting Tuesday in Istanbul, ahead of a meeting of BSEC foreign ministers on Dec. 11 in Bucharest, Romania.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Sunday sanctions against Turkey. For instance, Turkish companies operating in Russia and Turkish staff employed by Russian companies will face restrictions. There are also limitations on specific Turkish exports.
The sanctions followed Turkey's downing of a Russian warplane that violated Turkish airspace near the Turkish-Syrian border.
Russia and Turkey are among the 12 member states of the organization, of which the main objective is "to act to improve the business environment" and "to develop economic collaboration". Other countries include Ukraine, Armenia, and Azerbaijan.
"If we improve the relationship and the cooperation inside BSEC countries, then it is obvious that this will have an effect on the bilateral climate," Christides said.
"All the members states should try at the maximum level not to poison the atmosphere here," says Tahsin Burcuoglu, first deputy secretary general of the organization. He says political problems between the member states should not affect the routine work of the organization.
Projects of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation include a four-lane "Black Sea Ring Highway", for instance, which aims to connect the member states to each other in order to foster intra-BSEC trade, tourism, and transport investments. There is no deadline for the project.
The BSEC was established in 1992.Last Mod: 02 Aralık 2015, 09:07