Co-chair of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) Selahattin Demirtaş is to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during a visit to Moscow in the coming week.
It comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin maintains a hostile attitude towards the current Turkish leadership, although he has stressed that this position does not extend to the Turkish people. Demirtaş is concerned that Turkish citizens in Russia could be affected by the diplomatic row that has broken out after a Russian jet was downed by Turkey after violating its airspace for 17 seconds last month.
“Barring any last-minute obstacles, we will have a meeting in Moscow with Lavrov on Thursday,” Demirtaş said, adding, “Tens, even hundreds, of thousands of people who do business with Russia, study there or work there are affected. We want to use our power to help solve these problems.”
When asked by local media about the Turkish government, Putin said, “Nothing is eternal,” before insisting, “I want to repeat it now: we consider the Turkish people a friendly nation, and we do not want to disrupt relations namely with the Turkish people.”
Demirtaş sees the opening of an HDP office in Moscow as a place for Turkish nationals to seek help if they are experiencing difficulties in the country.