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Diplomatic talks to end tensions : #Russia is ready for dialogue with #Turkey on the issue of dropping fighter jet

By Tajuddin
In DIPLOMAT MEMO
Dec 2nd, 2015
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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov as he waves to the media after he arrives at the presidential palace for talks with Cyprus' President Nicos Anastasiades in Nicosia, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov as he waves to the media after he arrives at the presidential palace for talks with Cyprus’ President Nicos Anastasiades in Nicosia, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

Nicosia,Cyprus (Agencies + DIPLOMAT.SO) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said he would agree to meet with his Turkish counterpart this week to hear Turkey’s explanations on the downing of the Russian air force jet. Lavrov said he would meet Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on the sidelines of an Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe meeting of foreign ministers in Belgrade, the Serbian capital.

“We will meet with the Turkish minister of foreign affairs, we will hear what he has to say,” Lavrov said after talks with his Cypriot counterpart in Nicosia.

Lavrov said he spoke to Cavusoglu the day after the Russian aircraft was shot down, but heard only what Turkey had already stated publicly and “just some excuses.”

The meeting could offer a way to de-escalate a growing crisis between Russia and Turkey.

The Russian plane’s downing has badly strained the relationship between Moscow and Ankara that had earlier developed close economic ties. Russia has responded by deploying long-range air defense missiles at its air base in Syria and slamming Turkey with an array of economic sanctions,the first time a NATO member shot down a Russian aircraft in more than half a century. The fierce personal attack on Erdogan reflects the Kremlin’s anger and signals that Russia-Turkey tensions will likely continue to escalate.

Turkey has said it downed the Russian plane after it intruded its airspace for 17 seconds despite numerous warnings, and has refused to apologize for the shoot-down. The Russian pilot was killed by militants after bailing out from the plane and a Russian marine was also killed on a rescue mission to retrieve a second pilot.

Russia has insisted that its plane remained in Syrian airspace and has denounced the Turkish action as a “treacherous stab in the back.”

Erdogan has voiced regret over the incident, but Putin has made it clear that he expects a formal apology. The Russian leader refused to meet with Erdogan at a global climate in Paris, which they both attended Monday.

Still image taken from video showing a war plane crashing in flames in a mountainous area in northern Syria after it was shot down by Turkish fighter jets near the Turkish-Syrian border

Still image taken from video showing a war plane crashing in flames in a mountainous area in northern Syria after it was shot down by Turkish fighter jets near the Turkish-Syrian border

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