Turkey should apologise, compensate for downed Russian warplane

Moscow, June 1 (IANS) The Kremlin expects an apology and compensation from Turkey for a fighter aircraft which was downed in November last year, as a first step to restore bilateral ties, a spokesman said on Wednesday.

“I don’t think I’m in a position to recommend anything to a president of another country, which would be incorrect, but I feel it necessary to remind of the repeated declarations of Putin on this issue,” Tass news agency quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying.

He recalled that shortly after the downing of the Russian Su-24 jet by the Turkish air force, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow expected an apology, an explanation of the incident, compensation and payment to the family of the killed pilot.

The Kremlin regretted the fact that Ankara still had not taken any necessary steps to resolve the current crisis in bilateral relations, Peskov said.

Putin said last week during a visit to Greece that Moscow was ready to restore relations with Turkey but expected some “concrete steps” from Ankara.

In response, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday said he wanted Ankara to improve ties with Moscow, but was not sure what first step it was expected to take.

Erdogan also called the incident a “pilot error” not worth sacrificing relations between the two countries.

Relations between Russia and Turkey 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, which the Russian side denied and saw as a hostile act.

Putin then described the attack as a “stab in the back from accomplices of terrorism” and ordered imposing a broad range of economic sanctions against Turkey.

–IANS

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