Turkish-Russian relations took a downward turn in the aftermath of Turkey shooting down a Russian Su-24 jet in November last year. Moscow has, however, given a positive response to Ankara's recent attempts to break the ice, welcoming President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin on the occasion of Russia Day and Russia's Ambassador to Ankara Andrey Karlov's attending an iftar (fast-breaking meal) hosted at the Presidential Palace yesterday. The Kremlin said on Wednesday that Russia wants to restore good relations with Turkey. Moscow warned, however, that Ankara must apologize for downing the Russian jet.
"We would like and we want a normalization of our relations and their return to the period of good and mutually advantageous cooperation," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on a conference call with reporters. "But at the same time, President Putin has made it crystal clear that after what happened any normalization of ties does not look possible before Ankara has taken the necessary steps," he said, referring to Russia's insistence that Turkey apologize and pay compensation for shooting down the Russian Su-24 attack plane, shot down by Turkish fighter jets in November while flying in Turkish airspace while carrying out operations in northern Syria in support of the BasharAssad regime. Hours after the statement, presidential sources said that Karlov was scheduled to attend the iftar at the Presidential Palace for foreign ambassadors and members of the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK).
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