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Lawmaker says Russia wants Turkey to change approaches to Syria, Iraq

June 27, 17:46 UTC+3
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has offered his apologies to Russian President Vladimir Putin for the death of the pilot of the downed Russian plane
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© EPA/ULAS YUNUS TOSUN

MOSCOW, June 27. /TASS/. Chairman of the Federation Council’s international affairs committee, Konstantin Kosachyov, believes that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s message, addressed to Russian President Vladimir Putin, does contain two fundamental statements Russia has firmly insisted on.

"Judging by the information provided by the Russian presidential press-service, the message from the Turkish president does contain two key statements Russia has insisted on all the way: firstly, words of apology, and secondly, the readiness for any initiative to relieve the pain and gravity of the loss suffered by the family of the killed pilot, Oleg Peshkov," Kosachyov said on his Facebook page.

Kosachyov added that although the letter was not read out in public but dispatched to Putin personally, it was an important step towards Russia, which confirmed that Russia’s stance was 100% right and proper.

"Neither military retaliation, which some politicians have been calling for, nor concessions and agreement to leave the incident unanswered," Kosachyov said.

In his opinion the economic response was most effective. Erdogan had certainly not expected Russia would be so resolute and the scale of its action, so large."

"Beaches in Turkey without Russians and construction sites in Russia without Turkish workers produced a far stronger impression than any military or political threats," Kosachyov said. "It is to be hoped that the first step towards overcoming the confrontation has been made. This is just the beginning, of course."

According to the lawmaker, Russia besides the apologies will be expecting from Turkey changed approaches to Syria and Iraq.

"Clearly, disputes between Russia and Turkey are much deeper and they are of more systematic character than the recent tragedy, which of course shocked us all," he said. "They refer to reasons, to development and possible results of certain conflict situations now in Syria, in Iraq, in some other conflict areas."

"And here we would be expecting from Turkey a revision, so to say, of the approaches, the revision of the positions they have been following lately and which not only caused worse relations with Russia, but to direct degradation of the situation in those conflict areas via direct support for the terrorist structures which are acting in respective countries," the senator said.

"Thus, besides the words of sorrow and apology, which were in the letter, we of course will require also deeds which would prove changed Turkish approaches," he said.

Earlier on Monday, the Kremlin press service said Russian President Vladimir Putin has received a message from Turkey’s President Erdogan where the Turkish leader expressed his readiness to settle the situation over the downing of the Russian warplane.

According to the Kremlin, the message notes that Russia is Turkey’s friend and strategic partner the Turkish authorities don’t want to upset relations with. "We have never had a deliberate plan to shoot down a Russian plane," Erdogan reportedly said in his message.

"Having assumed the risks and exerted great effort, we recovered the body of the Russian pilot from the Syrian opposition to take it to Turkey," the message said as quoted by the Kremlin press service. "Pre-funeral procedures were organized in conformity with religious and military procedures. And we did it all at a due level."

Erdogan offered his deep condolences to the family of the killed Russian pilot. "I am saying, ‘I am sorry.’ I share your grief with all my heart. We consider the family of the Russian pilot as a Turkish family. We are ready for any initiative in the name of easing the pain and gravity of the damage we have done," the document says.

The Turkish president said in his message that a Turkish citizen suspected of complicity in the death of the Russian Sukhoi-24 bomber’s pilot is under investigation.

On November 24, 2015, a Turkish F-16 fired an air-to-air missile, slamming into a Russian Sukhoi Su-24 bomber at the altitude of 6,000 meters and roughly one kilometer from Turkey’s border. Later, the Russian Defense Ministry specified the Su-24 was downed when it was returning to the Hmeymim airbase in Syria.

"Objective control data analysis explicitly demonstrated that there was no violation of Turkey’s airspace," the ministry said. However, Turkey’s General Staff claimed that the Turkish fighter jet had shot down a plane that violated the country’s airspace. A statement circulated by the Turkish military said the plane’s crew had received ten warnings in five minutes.

The crew managed to eject from the aircraft, but one of the two pilots was killed by gunfire from the ground. The second pilot was rescued and evacuated to the base.

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