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Turkey will have to press charges against killer of Russian pilot — Russian lawmaker

November 03, 2016, 2:44 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Cavusoglu’s recent interview "confirms all those apologies that were earlier made to Russia" and demonstrates the intention of the Turkish side to "make amends," Alexey Pushkov said

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Alexey Pushkov, member of the Russian Federation Council’s Committee on Defense and Security

Alexey Pushkov, member of the Russian Federation Council’s Committee on Defense and Security

© Alexander Shcherbak/TASS

MOSCOW, November 2. /TASS/. The statements made by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in his interview to the Rossiya 24 TV channel indicate that Ankara has no other options but to press charges against Alparslan Celik who is responsible for the death of Russian Su-24 pilot Oleg Peshkov, a Russian lawmaker told TASS.

Cavusoglu earlier said that if Russia possesses any documents, Turkish prosecutors ask Moscow to provide them "to base the investigation on concrete papers and facts." He also noted that Turkey is ready to provide material assistance to the family of the Russian pilot. The Turkish foreign minister noted he is ready "to visit the widow of the killed Russian pilot if she agrees."

Alexey Pushkov, member of the Russian Federation Council’s Committee on Defense and Security, said that Cavusoglu’s interview "confirms all those apologies that were earlier made to Russia" and demonstrates the intention of the Turkish side to "make amends." "It is obvious that you cannot compensate for the life of a person. However, these are rather profound statements, including the readiness to prosecute Celik, the killer of the Russian pilot. It means that Ankara made a very serious decision to normalize relations with Russia," Pushkov said. He noted that "Turkey basically has no other option left but to press relevant charges against this person, this criminal."

The Russian lawmaker also stressed that Turkey demonstrates readiness to normalize relations with Russia despite "serious pressure from the United States, NATO circles and EU" as they do not want any NATO country to embark on rapprochement with Russia.

Only NATO country willing to cooperate with Russia

The lawmaker went on to say that Turkey is the only NATO member state showing readiness for dialogue and normalization of relations with Russia.

Cavusoglu said that among other things, the difference between Russia and Turkey on Syrian President Bashar Assad’s plight and other issues were subject to discussions in special work groups of diplomats, military and intelligence service experts where both Turkish and Russian representatives were scrutinizing all the Syria, regional and military problems.

He stressed the importance of dialogue between Turkey and Russia for stability in the region.

Turkey is the only NATO member-state today that shows the intention to maintain steady, diversified and profound enough relations with Russia and proof of it is found in the intensification of top-level contacts and in the Turkish leadership’s statements, Dr. Pushkov said.

"We don’t hear anything of the kind from any other country having NATO membership," he said, recalling a recent ‘default’ of the relatively fruitful relations with French President Francois Hollande and resulted in a disruption of President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Paris.

The things Cavusoglu said in the interview with Rossiya’24 prove Turkey is not going to make relations with Russia tense anymore because of contradictions over Syria, including over Assad, all the more so that these contradictions brought about the shooting down of a Russian Sukhoi-24 jet and produced the deepest crisis in the newest history of relations between the two countries, Dr. Pushkov believes.

He also said Ankara was seeking to protect the intensity and fruitfulness of political and trade relations with Russia from the impact of contradictions on the Syrian problem.

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