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No reaction from Turkey to Russia’s conditions for normalizing relations — diplomat

June 17, 18:04 UTC+3
Maria Zakharov stressed that Turkish officials’ pronouncements on the inadmissibility of making "a Russian lake" out of the Black Sea in no way promote normalization in bilateral relations
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© AP Photo/Emrah Gurel

MOSCOW, June 17. /TASS/. Ankara is not responding to Russia’s conditions for normalizing bilateral relations, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharov said on Friday.

"These messages [from the Turkish leadership to the Russian president, prime minister and foreign minister - TASS] have no meaningful elements," she said. "They are purely protocol practices."

"But in reality we have been seeing these or those steps of the Turkish authorities that cannot be called friendly. Such as, in particular, bureaucratic delays, inadmissible from the legal point of view, in reacting to the Russian side’s requests on the organization of a meeting of our consular representatives with Russian citizens kept in custody in that country," she said. "Russian air companies have been numerously denied permission to fly over the Turkish territory on cargoes delivery missions to Iraq."

She stressed that Turkish officials’ pronouncements on the inadmissibility of making "a Russian lake" out of the Black Sea in no way promote normalization in bilateral relations.

"We still see no progress in terms of reacting to the conditions repeatedly voiced by the Russian side which are necessary to speak about the emergence of the first prerequisites for normalization of relations with Turkey," she said.

Zakharova said earlier that Moscow "has said more than once what it expects Ankara to do to get out of the existing situation." "We have always said that we will maintain relations with the Turkish people. We develop economic and humanitarian ties, but politics cannot but tell on them," she said. "Such situation adds no dynamism to the development of relations in other spheres."

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 Hmeimim 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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