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Lavrov’s meeting with Turkish foreign minister starts in Belgrade

December 03, 2015, 18:40 UTC+3
Lavrov said Wednesday that the Turkish side is asking for contacts on the sidelines of the OSCE Foreign Ministerial Council, and said he was not going to evade the meeting
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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

© Sergei Bobylev/TASS

BELGRADE, December 3. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Belgrade.

Lavrov said Wednesday that the Turkish side is asking for contacts on the sidelines of the OSCE Foreign Ministerial Council, and said he was not going to evade the meeting.

"I spoke the next day after that violation of international law (the attack on Russia’s Su-24) to Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglu and did not hear from him anything new compared to what the Turkish leadership had said in public while justifying its unacceptable criminal action," he said.

"Now the Turkish side is strongly asking for a face-to-face meeting with the Turkish foreign minister on the sidelines of the OSCE Foreign Ministerial Council in Belgrade. We will not evade that contact, we will listen to what Mr. Cavusoglu will tell us. Maybe there will be something new compared to what was said publicly," Lavrov said in Nicosia on Wednesday.

The Turkish Air Force’s F-16 fighter on November 24 shot down a Russian Sukhoi Su-24M bomber, involved in Russia's antiterrorism operation in Syria, that Ankara claims violated the country’s airspace on the border with Syria.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said the Su-24M was above Syrian territory and "there was no violation of Turkey’s airspace." It said the Turkish Air Force fighter violated Syria’s airspace.

Relations between Russia and Turkey considerably deteriorated after the incident. Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that Turkey’s attack will have "serious consequences" for Russian-Turkish relations.

Putin said Ankara’s attack against the Russian Sukhoi Su-24 plane, which took part in Russia’s antiterrorism operation in Syria and did not present a threat to Turkey, was a "stab in Russia’s back" delivered by terrorists’ accomplices.

Putin on November 28 signed a decree "On measures to ensure Russia’s national security and protect nationals of the Russian Federation from criminal and other illegal actions and to use special economic measures against the Turkish Republic."

The document in particular introduces a ban or restriction on imports to the Russian Federation of certain goods from Turkey, whose list is to be compiled by the government. It also envisions a ban on employment of Turks, suspension of a visa-free regime with Turkey and a recommendation to tour operators to stop selling holiday packages to Turkey.

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