Moscow and Washington express respect for the choice of Turkish voter
US President Joe Biden is looking forward to working with whoever wins the Turkish election, which looks like it will go to a run off, White House spokesperson John Kirby said on Monday.
"We congratulate the Turkish people for expressing their desires at the ballot box in a peaceful way," Kirby said in an online briefing.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan led on Monday after the first round of Turkey's presidential election, with his rival facing an uphill struggle to prevent the president extending his rule into a third decade in a runoff vote on May 28.
Kirby's brief comment came short after Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that Moscow expected Russia's cooperation with Turkey to continue and deepen whoever wins the country's presidential election.
"We have great respect for the choice of the Turkish people, and will respect it, but in any case we expect our cooperation to continue, deepen and broaden," Peskov said.
Turkey has maintained strong ties with Russia under President Erdogan, despite differences of opinion over Ukraine and Syria, and Ankara relies heavily on energy imports from Moscow.
Kemal Kilicdaroglu, Erdogan's challenger, has pledged to maintain good ties with Moscow if he wins. But he also accused Russia before the election of trying to meddle in it by releasing "deep fakes", an allegation the Kremlin denied.