MOSCOW, March 16. /TASS/. Normalization of Russian-Turkish relations should not be viewed as a process that may harm other countries, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with the Armenian magazine Regional Post - Caucasus.
"This normalization between Russia and Turkey should not be regarded as a process that may harm other states," Lavrov said. "Russia has no hidden agenda. We build no political and no economic alliances directed against third countries or adversely affecting any interests."
"In general, we are open for constructive and mutually respectful cooperation with all who express same readiness," Russia’s top diplomat stressed.
Getting the Russian-Turkish ties out of months-long crisis will enhance trust and mutual understanding in the region, Lavrov said. "We expect the gradual restoration of bilateral cooperation with Ankara to benefit peace, security and stability in Transcaucasia."
Relations between the two countries sharply deteriorated after a Turkish Air Force F-16 fighter jet downed a Russian Su-24 bomber in the skies over Syria on November 24, 2015. Pilot Oleg Peshkov was killed by militants from the ground after ejecting from the aircraft. The navigator was rescued and taken to base. A Mi-8 helicopter involved in the rescue operation was lost and a contract marine was killed.
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.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan apologized in late June 2016 for the incident and relations between the two countries started normalizing.