Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in his message to President of Russia Vladimir Putin has offered condolences in connection with death of Russian pilots in the downed su-24, reported the press Secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov. When it was received a corresponding letter, Peskov did not specify. According to a source in diplomatic circles, after the apology, Erdogan “may come up on the gradual abolition of sanctions against Turkey.”
Sources of the Turkish edition of Hurriyet, close to the President confirmed that Erdogan sent Putin a letter.
“Erdogan expressed deep regret over the incident and stressed the willingness to do everything possible to restore the traditionally friendly relations between Turkey and Russia, and jointly respond to crisis events in the region, to fight terrorism,” — said Peskov (quoted by “Interfax”).
“I want to Express my sympathy and deep condolences to the bereaved family of the Russian pilot and say excuse me”, — quotes a site of the Kremlin the message of the President. “We have never had the desire and deliberate intention to bring down a plane belonging to the Russian Federation,” reads another quote.
“Taking all the risks and putting in great efforts, we took the body of the dead Russian pilot from the Syrian opposition and brought it to Turkey. Organization predohranaa procedures were conducted in accordance with the religious and military procedures,” wrote Erdogan Russian President. The Turkish leader also reminded that in relation to the citizen of Turkey, whose name is associated with the death of the Russian pilot, is under investigation.
The message of Erdogan to Putin, it is also about the fact that Turkey sees Russia as a strategic partner.
The representative of the Russian foreign Ministry declined to comment. A source in diplomatic circles said that after the apology, Erdogan’s Moscow hopes at the beginning of the defrosting of cooperation between Russia and Turkey, since it is these steps that Ankara was waiting for the Russian authorities. The source did not rule out that after the apology “may come up on the gradual abolition of sanctions against Turkey.”
Apology from the Turkish authorities was one of the key conditions of the Kremlin to restore relations with Ankara after Turkish air force shot down a Russian su-24 in November last year. Then, in response, Russia imposed on Turkey the number of restrictive economic measures, including a ban on the supply of some vegetables and fruits, the tour operators were prohibited from selling tours to Turkey. Moscow has repeatedly stated that the normalization of relations Ankara should apologize and make amends.
In late may, Russian President Vladimir Putin during a visit to Greece said that Moscow wants to resume relations with Ankara, but also desires to resume relations need something else to do.” He reminded that Russia did not hear an apology of Turkey for the downed su-24, as well as statements about the readiness to repair the damage.
Erdogan in response to these words Putin said he wants to improve relations with Russia, but does not understand what should be the first steps of Ankara in this direction. This in the Kremlin again reminded that it is still waiting for an apology and compensation for su-24.
In early June, Erdogan sent the Russian President a letter of congratulations with the Day of Russia, which wished to see Russian-Turkish relations in the coming time” out “on the deserved level.” The Kremlin then announced that “meaningful moments” in this letter was absent.