: Turkey says ready to pay Russia for downed jet 'if necessary'

11:24 Jun. 28, 2016

Turkey says ready to pay Russia for downed jet 'if necessary'

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim in Ankara (GettyImages Photo)

Turkey's statement followed letter sent by Erdogan to Putin with condolences to dead pilot's family

Turkey is ready to provide compensation to Russia and the family of the pilot, who died after Russian military jet was shot down. In a move, aimed at restoring the relations between the two countries, Ankara says it could pay Moscow "if necessary". 

This is reported by Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim in an interview to TRT TV channel. 

Read also: Turkey wants peace with Russia

"We can say very clearly, we wish it didn't happen. We have expressed our sorrow and could pay compensation if necessary"Yildirim stated. 

The Prime Minister also said, the process of improving the relations between Ankara and Moscow had actually begun. He also announced the possible phone talks between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on June 28-29. 

Yildirim's statement followed a letter, earlier sent by Erdogan to Putin with the condolences to the family of the dead pilot. 

The Kremlin claimed, in the letter the Turkish President factually apologized to Russia for blowing the fighter jet out of the sky. 

Read also: Putin threatens Romania, Poland, ready to make peace with Turkey

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who had phone talks with Erdogan shortly after the message was sent, opined Ankara didn't apologize to Russia, but to the family of the pilot. 

The US, in turn, take their time to comment on the matter. In an interview, published on July 27, Elizabeth Trudeau, the U.S. State Department press office chief, failed to shed light on whether Ankara and Washington had any consultations. 

"All I've seen are the Kremlin spokesperson's comments, so I'm not in a position really to say either way", Trudeau said. 

The relations between Russia and Turkey deteriorated on November 24, 2015, when Russian fighter jet Fencer (NATO reporting name) was downed by the Turkish aircraft over Latakia, Syrian city. Turkish military officials claimed that the Russian plane violated the airspace of Turkey while conducting its military operation in Syria.

Read also: Turkey says downing of Russian jet was 'defensive action'

Russia has imposed trade sanctions against Turkey, including freezing investment projects and restricting food imports. On June 1, Putin's spokesperson said Russia and Turkey could return to normal relations if Turkey apologized and paid financial compensation.

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