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Turkish premier to talk Armenia dispute in Russia


MOSCOW, May 4 (RIA Novosti) - Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will pay a brief working visit to Russia on May 16, the Russian government announced on Monday.

Turkish media said Turkey's relations with Armenia and the ex-Soviet republic's dispute with Ankara's ally Azerbaijan over Nagorny Karabakh would dominate the visit to Russia, a mediator in the long-running feud.

Turkey and Armenia, which have had no diplomatic ties since the Soviet Union split up in 1991, agreed to a "roadmap" under Swiss mediation in April in a bid to normalize their relations.

Erdogan, however, was reported to have later reiterated that Turkey would not open its border with Armenia, closed in 1993 in a show of support for Azerbaijan, until the Nagorny Karabakh dispute has been resolved.

Ankara has also said Yerevan should drop its campaign to have the mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks in 1915 internationally recognized as genocide. Armenia says an estimated 1.5 million Armenians were slaughtered at the end of the Ottoman Empire.

The Russian government said the visit would take place following an invitation from Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Diplomats in Ankara said Erdogan and Putin would also discuss bilateral trade and cooperation in the energy sphere, including Russia's bid in a tender to build a nuclear power plant in Turkey.

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