ANKARA, June 28. /TASS/. Turkey’s relations with Russia have started normalizing, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told the parliament on Tuesday.
"Finally, indirect contacts between our leaders have produced results. The ice in relations begins to melt. The stage of normalization between Russia and Turkey has started. I wish happiness to both nations," he said.
Yildirim noted that other states have also "done a lot so that the relations between Ankara and Moscow could reach the current stage." "We especially thank our brothers - Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and other regional countries and their leaders for great efforts in this issue," he said.
On Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that Recep Tayyip Erdogan sent a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin saying sorry for shooting down the Su-24 jet and stressing "readiness to make every effort to restore traditionally friendly relations between Russia and Turkey."
Relations between the two countries sharply deteriorated after a Turkish Air Force F-16 fighter jet downed a Russian Su-24M bomber in the sky over Syria on November 24, 2015. Pilot Oleg Peshkov was killed by militants from the ground after ejecting. Ankara claimed the bomber violated the Turkish airspace near the Syrian border. The Russian Defense Ministry said the warplane was flying over Syrian territory and had never violated Turkey’s airspace.
On November 28, Putin signed a decree imposing special economic measures against Turkey. On January 1, 2016, the bulk of sanctions against Turkey came into effect. Russia imposed a ban on imports of fruits, vegetables, poultry, flowers and white salt from that country. Besides, some business activities and services of Turkish companies, employment of new staff from Turkey were either banned or restricted. At the same time, Russia introduced visa restrictions and banned sales of package holidays to Turkey.