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Kremlin says Turkey's informal steps not enough to restore relations

May 30, 2016, 16:10 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russian presidential aide says question on Moscow-Ankara relations remains suspended, although the Turkish side has been trying to make all sorts of informal approaches, the key factor is still absent

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© Alexandr Sherbak/TASS, archive

MOSCOW, May 30. /TASS/. Turkey has not taken any steps yet for the sake of restoring relations with Russia, Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov told a news briefing.

"The Turkish side has not taken any steps so far that might help start the normalization of relations with Russia," Ushakov said.

"This question (about bilateral relations) remains suspended," Ushakov said. "Our relations at the moment are there where they are. Although the Turkish side has been trying to make all sorts of informal approaches, the key factor is still absent, and without it our country cannot embark on the road of normalizing relations."

Ushakov said he had not heard any proposals from Turkey regarding creation of a working group on the issue.

Relations between Russia and Turkey worsened sharply after the Turkish warplanes on November 24, 2015 shot down Russia’s Sukhoi-24 bomber over Syria. The plane was involved in the anti-terrorist operation in Syria. Ankara argued that the plane had violated its airspace. The Russian Defense Ministry said the Russian bomber stayed over Syria throughout the mission.

Putin then warned that the attack against the fighter-bomber would entail "serious consequences" for bilateral relations. On November 28 he signed a decree on measures to protect Russia’s national security, on the protection of Russian citizens from criminal and other unlawful actions and on the use of special economic measures against Turkey. He demanded Ankara should compensate for the damage.

Last Friday Putin told a news conference Turkey had not taken any practical steps along these lines yet.

Turkish daily Turkiye said on Monday Foreign Minister Mevlut Cuvasoglu had allegedly proposed creating joint working group with Russia in order to look for ways of normalizing bilateral relations.

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