Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan sent a letter of apology to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin that expressed sorrow over the downing of a Russian air jet by Turkey last year.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildrim said Tuesday that Turkey will not pay any compensation to Russia for bringing down the jet.
Yildrim added that Turkey only expressed its regret over the incident. “Compensating Russia is not on the table, we have only expressed our regrets,” said Yildrim on public television.
“We have said that if necessary we are ready to pay compensation,” Yildrim added.
The Kremlin said that relations between Moscow and Ankara will not improve in just one day.
Erdoğan wrote a letter to his Russian counterpart expressing regret over the incident.
Russia’s foreign ministry official spokesperson Maria Zakharova said on Tuesday that Turkey has taken a step in the right direction.
“Turkey is taking certain steps and actions,” Zakharova said. “This is a serious step in the right direction. No doubt, it has been taken into account.”
A meeting between the Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov and his Turkish counterpart Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu could take place soon on the sidelines of a ministerial meeting of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC), reported the Russian state agency TASS.
“As for Russian-Turkish communcation, both personal and telephone, this subject is being looked at,” Zakharova said. “So far, there are no amendments to the programme of the meeting of the BSEC foreign ministers in Sochi. Neither are there any changes in the minister’s schedule. It is yet at a stage of preparation.”
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Monday that his country is ready “to make every effort to restore traditionally friendly relations between Russia and Turkey”.
On 24 November, a Turkish F-16 fighter jet shot down a Russian Su-24 bomber near the Syrian borders. Moscow says the bomber was in Syrian airspace, which the F-16 violated, while Turkey claims the Russian jet crossed the Turkish border and was repeatedly warned before the attack.