Kremlin says it regrets Turkey has not acted to mend ties over downed Russian jet
MOSCOW – ReutersRussia regrets that Turkey has not taken the necessary steps to mend ties damaged by Ankara’s shooting down of a Russian warplane near the Syrian border last year, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said on June 1.
The Kremlin was still waiting for Turkey to apologize and pay compensation for the incident, Peskov told reporters, when asked to comment on remarks by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who said on May 31 he did not understand what kind of a “first step” Moscow expected from Ankara.
Erdoğan said that both sides should work together to better their relations, adding that he was concerned at how relations had been sacrificed over what he described as a “pilot error.”
Russia and Turkey have been at loggerheads since Nov. 24, 2015, when a Turkish fighter jet downed a Russian warplane on grounds of an airspace violation on its border with Syria.
While Turkey said that it had warned the warplane several times and also did not know of its country of origin, Russia has denied these claims, saying that no warnings had been made prior to the downing of the jet.
Peskov’s statement came as Turkey and Russia became involved in a new row over the other’s actions in Syria and Iraq on May 31.
Turkey accused Russia of conducting air strikes in the rebel-held city of Idlib that killed 60 people, prompting a Russian denial and a counter demand that Turkey withdraw its troops from Iraq.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry said on May 31 that heavy air strikes reported to have been carried out by Russian jets on a hospital and a mosque in Idlib had killed more than 60 civilians and injured around 200 people. The Russian Defense Ministry denied its aircraft had carried out any strikes on the city.
After Ankara accused Russia of the deadly airstrikes in Idlib, Russia demanded that Turkey withdraw its troops from Iraq, the RIA news agency quoted Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying on May 31.