Kremlin said on Wednesday that Russia wants to restore good relations with Turkey following President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s letter to Putin celebrating Russia Day.
Kremlin, however, added that Ankara must first take certain steps to restore relations with Russia.
“We would like and we want a normalisation of our relations and their return to the period of good and mutually advantageous cooperation,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told a conference call with reporters.
“But at the same time President Putin has made it crystal clear that after what happened any normalisation of ties does not look possible before Ankara has taken the necessary steps,” he said, referring to Russia’s insistence that Turkey apologise and pay compensation for shooting down the plane.
It is the first letter from Ankara since a Russian bomber was downed by a Turkish jet in November 2015.
Erdogan’s letter, would it solve the issue?
President Erdogan sent a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin to celebrate Russia Day, the national holiday of the Russian Federation, which has been celebrated annually on June 12 since 1992.
The letter has been seen as an important step toward normalizing the broken ties between the two countries following Turkey’s downing of a Russian fighter jet in November.
“Dear Mr. President. On behalf of the Turkish people, I congratulate all Russians on Russia Day, and hope that the relations between Russia and Turkey will rise to the deserved level,” the letter said.
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim also sent a similar letter to the Russian Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev. “in the near future, cooperation and relations between the two countries will reach a level that is essential for the common interests of our peoples.”
“Both parties have been signaling the beginning of a normalization process,” Middle East Technical University (METU) Professor Dr. Oktay Tanrısever, an expert on Russia and Central Asian republics, said.
“It is important that the leaders soften their tones,” Tanrısever said, adding that diplomats can carry out the normalization process better in this way.
“Turkey and Russia will agree to disagree on some issues,” Tanrısever contended. “Turkey has reservations about Russia’s presence in Syria. This, for example, might be a point on which they will agree to disagree,” he said.
Ankara and Moscow are firm in their positions. They both want one another to acknowledge the accusations directed at each other. While Ankara says the Russian jet it shot down strayed into its airspace, Russia vehemently denies it.