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Moscow sees little hope for normalization of bilateral relations due to Turkey’s position

April 26, 19:58 UTC+3 MOSCOW
According to the foreign ministry, Turkey’s shooting down a Russian bomber being on a counter-terrorism mission has triggered an actual freeze of bilateral ties
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Russian Foreign Ministry building in Moscow

Russian Foreign Ministry building in Moscow

© Gennadiy Khamelyanin/ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, April 26. /TASS/. The current position of the Turkish authorities leaves little hope that Russia-Turkey relations could be normalized in the foreseeable future, the Russian foreign ministry said in a review of Russia’s foreign policy activities in 2015 that was posted on its website on Tuesday.

"Relations with Turkey had been promoted to a certain point by means of maintaining contacts at various levels," the document says. "However negative potential was gradually developing in these relations, with widening gaps in positions on a number of issues of the bilateral agenda and international problems."

"Ankara’s hostile action against Russia [on November 24] when the Turkish air forces shot down over Syria a Russian Su-24 bomber that was on a counter-terrorism mission has triggered an actual freeze of bilateral ties," the ministry said.

The Russia side, according to the ministry, has taken a series of steps to protect Russian citizens and ensure their security. Thus, it has suspended the visa-free travel regime for holder of Turkish passports, imposed a ban on certain types of Turkish-made agricultural products and on charter air services with Turkey and a number of special restrictive measures in the sphere of bilateral trade-and-economic and interregional cooperation.

"Political and military contacts have been curtailed," the Russian foreign ministry noted. "The current position of the Turkish authorities leaves little hope for normalization of bilateral relations in the foreseeable future."

The chill in relations between the two countries followed Turkey’s downing a Russian bomber in Syria that was on its way back from an anti-terrorist mission on November 24. Turkey said the plane had violated the Turkish airspace. The Russian Defense Ministry however claims that the Su-24 was gunned down over Syria. The crew managed to eject itself. One pilot was shot dead by fire opened from the ground. The second pilot was saved and taken to the Khmeimim airbase in Syria.

Russian President Vladimir Putin described the attack on the Russian aircraft, which took part in the counter-terrorism operation in Syria and posed no threat to Turkey, as a treacherous "stab in the back."

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