Putin to talk over phone with Turkish counterpart: Kremlin

Moscow, June 28 (IANS) Russian President Vladimir Putin will talk over phone on Wednesday with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Kremlin said on Tuesday.

The decision was made after the Russian side received Erdogan’s apologies over the death of the Russian pilot on the Su-24 bomber downed by Ankara in November 2015, Xinhua news agency reported.

“We will need to take more than one step in each other’s direction, one shouldn’t think that everything can be normalised in a few days, but work on this will continue,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

“In particular, tomorrow, a phone call between Putin and President Erdogan will be held at Russia’s initiative,” Peskov said.

Kremlin on Monday said a letter was sent by Erdogan to Putin containing both an expression of regret and an apology for downing the Russian bomber, voicing readiness to mend ties.

According to Peskov, this was an important step made in the direction of normalising relations, which have soured after Turkish forces shot down a Russian Su-24 jet near the Turkish-Syrian border on November 24, 2015 for alleged airspace violation.

Denying such accusations by Turkey, Russia has repeatedly said relations between the two countries could be restored only after Ankara apologises and provides compensation for the downed aircraft and to the family of the killed pilot Oleg Peshkov.

–IANS

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