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Putin, Erdogan to hold phone conversation — Kremlin spokesman

June 28, 12:52 UTC+3
The Kremlin spokesman says Erdogan’s apologies were important, but much is still to be done
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© Alexei Nikolsky/ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, June 28. /TASS/. The presidents of Russia and Turkey, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, will hold a phone conversation on Wednesday at Russia’s initiative, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

"Tomorrow at the initiative of the Russian side a telephone conversation will take place between President Putin and President Erdogan," Peskov said.

The conversation will be held approximately in the middle of the day, he added.

Peskov did not answer the question if the Russian leader would send a letter to Erdogan in response.

The Kremlin believes that Erdogan’s apologies were an important step, but a great deal is still to be done for the normalization of bilateral relations.

"A very important step has been taken to this end (the normalization of relations)," Peskov said. "Certainly, many more steps are to be taken together towards each other. One should not think that everything will get back to normal within a matter of days. But work along these lines will proceed."

Peskov recalled Putin’s repeatedly declared intention to maintain a good relationship with Turkey and the Turkish people, the absence of alternatives to such kind relations, and the conditions that must be created for them.

He kept quiet as to whether the Russian leader would reply to Erdogan in writing.

No philological nuances

Peskov stated that the Russian translation of Erdogan’s message published by the Kremlin with apologies for the death of the Russian pilot was adequate to the Turkish original.

"The word ‘apology’ matches the Turkish original one hundred percent," Peskov said in the wake of mass media discrepancies in the interpretation of Erdogan’s letter.

"The message contains other words of regret and the word ‘sorry’. Both are there," Peskov said. He is certain that "there are no philological nuances."

"I am a specialist in the Turkish language. I invite you to read the text once again. The extracts from the text in quotation marks are available on the Kremlin’s website," he said.

Russian-Turkish relations sank to a record-low after Turkish warplanes on November 24 last year downed a Russian Sukhoi-24 bomber over Syria. Ankara claimed that the plane had intruded into Turkish airspace. Moscow denied that.

On Monday, June 27 it was announced that President Erdogan in a message to Putin apologized for the downed bomber and expressed interest in settling the situation.

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