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Kremlin refuses to clarify what "sensitive issues" Putin and Erdogan discussed at G20

December 18, 2015, 16:32 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Answering a question on the details of the topic Putin mentioned during his news conference, Ushakov said: "To elaborate on the topic is to disclose details, and I would not want to do this"
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© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, December 18. /TASS/. Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov has not disclosed details of "sensitive issues" that Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed at the G20 summit in Antalya before the incident with the Russian Su-24M bomber downed over Syria.

"The issue is rather sensitive. This topic is sensitive, and I do not want to speak about this," Ushakov told journalists on Friday. "It [the topic] dominated the agenda at the bilateral discussion in Antalya, and the meeting was held in the so-called ‘tete-a-tete’ format," he added.

Answering a question on the details of the topic which Putin mentioned during his annual news conference on Thursday, Ushakov said: "To elaborate on the topic is to disclose details, and I would not want to do this."

"When I was last time in Antalya and spoke with the authorities of Turkey, our Turkish colleagues raised very sensitive issues and asked for support," Putin said on Thursday at his annual news conference. "Believe me, we were faced with very sensitive issues, which did not fit in the context of the international law concerning the decisions, which the Turkish side offered," he said. "We said at that time ‘yes, we understand and ready to help.’ After we showed that we were ready to cooperate on sensitive issues, was it really so difficult to pick up the phone in advance or get in touch at a military level connections and say that regarding this stretch of the border we never talked, but we have our own interests here as well. Bear in mind that we ask this or that and not to deliver strikes. But nobody said anything," the Russian president explained.

The relations between Moscow and Ankara deteriorated after the Turkish Air Force’s fighter jet shot down a Russian Su-24M bomber on November 24. Ankara claims the Su-24M bomber violated the Turkish air space in the area of the border with Syria. However, Russia’s Defense Ministry has said the Su-24M plane stayed exclusively over the Syrian territory and "there was no violation of the Turkish air space."

The crew of the Su-24M bomber managed to eject but one of the pilots, Oleg Peshkov, was killed by gunfire from the ground. The second pilot, Konstantin Murakhtin, was rescued and taken to the Russian air base. During the operation to evacuate Su-24M pilots a Mi-8 helicopter was lost. Marine Alexander Pozynich was killed in the operation.

Putin described the downing of the Russian jet that took part in the anti-terrorist operation in Syria and did not present a threat to Turkey as a "stab in the back." He warned about "serious consequences" for Russian-Turkish bilateral relations.

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