Envoy: Ankara-Moscow ties can be fixed through dialogue

MOSCOW (AA) – The tension between Ankara and Moscow should be resolved through negotiations and dialogue channels, said Umit Yardim, Turkey’s ambassador to Russia, on Wednesday.

Speaking at the Moscow Union of Journalists, Yardim said relations with Russia date back nearly 1,000 years, including 500 years of official relations with the Ottomans and the Republic of Turkey.

“Crises may come up, but to overcome these crises it is necessary to maintain pace and continue to develop our relations,” Yardim said.

“Turkish citizens in Russia have faced serious problems after Turkey shot down a Russian plane,” he said, referring to an incident last November when Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet near the Syrian border after warning it had crossed into Turkish airspace. “However, we know that the real people responsible for these incidents do not represent the Russian people.”

Asked about Russia’s conditions for the normalization of relations with Moscow, Yardim said expecting an apology for the incident would not bear any fruit.

“Apology is a highly sensitive issue,” said Yardim, instead suggesting the launch of a dialogue between the two countries.

“What Turkey suggests is a meeting between a Turkish presidential committee and the Russian side which may consist of diplomatic and military members as well,” he explained.