The European Union will help finance the construction of a railway line linking Istanbul with the Bulgarian border with the sum of 275 million euros. This was announced by European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen at a joint press conference in Istanbul with Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeebecki, the Associated Press reported.

The two met at an annual meeting aimed at boosting economic co-operation between Turkey and the EU despite their tense relations, the agency said.

Turkey has started accession negotiations with the EU in 2005, but since then it has stalled. The European Union says Turkey is moving away from European democratic values.

Several reporters from EU member states whose journalistic accreditations were not renewed by the Turkish government were unable to attend today’s conference.

Jyrki Katainen said he “deeply regrets this.” In his words, the EU is working with the Turkish authorities to ensure that media freedom is respected.

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