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Erdogan says Turkey wants to develop strategic ties with Russia

December 14, 2015, 10:56 UTC+3 ANKARA
Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he could not understand the analysts' saying the situation over the downing of the Russian bomber by Turkey’s Air Force was an artificially prepared trap
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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

© AP Photo/Yasin Bulbul, Presidential Press Service, Pool

ANKARA, December 14. /TASS/. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday Ankara wants no conflict in relations with Russia, the HaberTurk TV has reported.

"As for Turkey, we want no conflict. We want to continue developing strategic relations with Russia in the same way. We have been developing them successfully over the past 10-11 years and we want to continue this," Erdogan said.

Erdogan said he could not understand the statements of some analysts that the situation over the downing of the Russian Su-24M bomber by Turkey’s Air Force was an artificially prepared trap for the two countries.

The Turkish leader insisted that the incident occurred as an unidentified plane had violated the country’s airspace and failed to respond to the warnings. "In this situation our pilots have fulfilled their duties."

"The incident occurred because of the error of a pilot who did not respond to the warnings and did not hear them," he stressed.

Erdogan said the strategic relations between Turkey and Russia should not be affected by the incident. "I wish we rectified everything soon," he said, adding that the sides should overcome the problem by diplomatic means and show the intention to restore ties.

Relations between Russia and Turkey hit a low after the incident on November 24 when a Turkish F-16 fighter jet brought down a Russian Sukhoi Su-24M bomber, which, Ankara alleges, violated the country’s airspace near the Syrian border. The Russian Defense Ministry said the warplane was flying over Syrian territory and had never violated Turkey’s airspace.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that Turkey’s attack will have "serious consequences" for Russian-Turkish relations. Putin said Ankara’s attack against the Russian Sukhoi Su-24 plane, which took part in Russia’s antiterrorism operation in Syria and did not present a threat to Turkey, was a "stab in Russia’s back" delivered by terrorists’ accomplices.

In late November, Putin signed a decree "On measures to ensure Russia’s national security and protect nationals of the Russian Federation from criminal and other illegal actions and to use special economic measures against the Turkish Republic."

Starting from January 1, Turkey will be banned from exporting fruits (oranges, tangerines, grapes, apples, pears, apricots, peaches and nectarines, plums, wild strawberries and strawberries) and vegetables (tomatoes, cucumbers, cauliflower, broccoli, yellow onions) to Russia.

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