Turkey, Russia sign nuclear power plant, visa removal deals

Turkey, Russia signed a $20 billion deal on Wednesday to build a nuclear power plant with four reactors in Turkey.

A cooperation agreement on the construction and operation of Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant was signed between Turkish and Russian governments during a gathering in capital Ankara.

Russian nuclear agency chief Sergei Kiriyenko said that Russian company Atomstroiexport would lead construction of the plant on Turkey's southern shore.

Turkish and Russian officials also signed several agreements including one that lifts visa requirements for their citizens when visiting each other's country for up to a month, Anadolu news agency also said.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul said, the liberalization of visas was pleasing for both the Turkish and Russian peoples.

Gul and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev held a joint news conference following their tete-a-tete meeting and talks between the delegations of Turkey and Russia.

The liberalization of visas will benefit not only transporters but also tourists. We are proud to sign the agreement on the liberalization of visas today, Gul said.

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In response to a question from a Russian journalist on the liberalization of visas, President Gul said that both Turkey and Russia will benefit from an agreement on visas.

The agreement will be in effect continuously as long as both countries benefit from it, Gul said.

Medvedev also said the agreement between his country and Turkey that would lift visa requirements would ease the lives of millions of people.

"This is a historic agreement that will make life easier for millions of people. And it will come into effect in the shortest possible time," Medvedev told the joint press conference.

Medvedev noted that three million Russian tourists visited Turkey before the global economic recession which he said caused the number to fall to 2.5 million last year.
"Trade ties"
Turkish President Abdullah Gul said on Wednesday that very big projects were fulfilled between Turkey and Russia in energy, and new projects were on the agenda.

Referring to economic relations between Turkey and Russia, Gul said level of cooperation between the two countries were pleasing.

Gul said 38 billion USD bilateral trade volume in 2008 was an example to everybody, and noted that both parties shared determination to amount trade volume to 100 billion USD in the next five years.

"Turkey and Russia reaffirmed decision to make cooperation in future projects. The parties reviewed the level of cooperation in new oil pipelines, natural gas pipelines as well as nuclear energy. Similarly, cooperation in economy, trade, marketing with national currency, new projects in transportation boost economic cooperation between the two countries," Gul said.

Gul underlined the success of relationship between Turkey and Russia in tourism. "Three million tourists visiting Turkey indicate strength of relations between the two parties," he noted.
World Bulletin