Turkey’s Erdogan says unsure what ‘first step’ Moscow wants
Turkish President, Tayyip Erdogan, on Tuesday said he wanted to improve ties with Russia but did not understand what kind of a “first step” Moscow was expecting from Ankara, saying both sides should work together to better their relations.
At a press conference in the Aegean city of Izmir, Erdogan said he was concerned at how relations had been sacrificed over what he described as a “pilot error,” referring to when Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet.
“It is of concern to see that Russia forsakes Turkey over a mistake or a wrongdoing of a pilot (Russian pilot) at a time when our relations with Mr. Putin was at a very different level and we became two friendly countries. I believe that we should (both) make efforts to redevelop and retake our relations to a higher level,” Erdogan said to journalists.
Relations between Ankara and Moscow hit their worst after the incident in November last year, prompting a raft of sanctions from Russia. Ankara said the plane strayed into Turkish airspace, an allegation Moscow denies.
Earlier this week, Russian President Vladmir Putin said he was ready to consider restoring relations with Ankara, but that would require a first step from Turkey.
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