Putin declines Erdoğan to meet in Paris over downed Russian jet
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, centre, walks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, prior to their meeting at the G-20 Summit in Antalya, Turkey, in the early hours of Monday, Nov. 16, 2015. AP PhotoRussian President Vladimir Putin has twice refused to meet Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on the sidelines of the Paris Climate Summit, as tension between the two countries over the downed Russian plane continues.
Putin rejected a meeting with Erdoğan at the climate conference in Paris, the Kremlin said, as a dispute rages over Ankara’s downing of a Russian warplane.
“No meeting with Erdoğan is planned. There is no discussion of such a meeting,” Agence France-Presse reported Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying on Nov. 30.
Meanwhile, Reuters reported Turkish presidential sources as saying on Nov. 30 that there was no planned meeting between the two leaders during their stay in Paris for the climate conference.
Ankara’s ties with Moscow have been strained since Nov. 24 when the Turkish Air Force shot down a Russian warplane on the grounds that it violated Turkish airspace for 17 seconds even though the Russian Su-24 warplane was warned of its infraction multiple times.
Erdoğan twice called on Putin to meet him face-to-face in Paris at two separate events over the last week.
The first call came on Nov. 27, when Erdoğan, during an address to the citizens of the northern province of Bayburt, expressed his willingness to meet Putin. An aide to Putin on the same day, however, said the Russian president refused to contact Erdoğan because Ankara did not want to apologize for the incident.
“We see Turkey’s unwillingness to simply apologize for the incident with the plane,” Yuri Ushakov, Putin’s aide, told reporters when asked why Putin had refused to talk with Erdoğan.
On the same day, Peskov also confirmed that the Turkish president had requested a meeting with Putin in Paris on Nov. 30 and that it would be delivered to the president.
A day later, on Nov. 28, Erdoğan repeated his call to Putin to discuss and resolve the ongoing bilateral crisis, adding that he was saddened by the incident.
“We feel really saddened about this incident. We would not like such a thing to happen … but unfortunately it did. I hope such a thing will not happen again,” Erdoğan said Nov. 28 in a statement during a visit to the northwestern province of Balıkesir.
“What we tell Russia is, ‘Let’s talk about this issue within its boundaries and let’s settle it. Let’s not make others happy by hurting our entire relationship. I think the U.N. Global Climate Change Summit to be held in Paris on Monday could be an opportunity to restore our relations,” he said.
Russia announced a new set of economic sanctions against Turkey on Nov. 30, focusing on agricultural goods.