KONFRONTASI - Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has rejected the possibility of normalizing relations with Ankara after Turkey downed a Russian warplane inside Syria.
He made the remarks on Wednesday in response to a question about the measures Turkey could possibly take to mend ties with Russia.
The top Russian diplomat told reporters that ties can no longer be "business as usual" due to the "hostile" act against Moscow.
"I am not going to talk about what Turkey should do. I believe our colleagues, our Turkish neighbors, should understand themselves what they must do," he said, without elaborating.
Tensions have been running high between Turkey and Russia following the downing of a Russian Sukhoi Su-24M jet on November 24. Turkey claims that the aircraft had violated its airspace, but Russia reject the allegation.
A Russian warplane crashing in flames in northern Syria after it was shot down by a Turkish fighter jet on November 24, 2015, is seen in this still image taken from video. (Reuters photo)
Russian President Vladimir Putin called the incident a “stab in the back by accomplices of terrorists,” and ordered a raft of economic sanctions against Turkey, which includes labor force restrictions and bans on some goods and services among other things. The Russian Defense Ministry has also suspended military ties with Turkey.
Putin also snubbed a meeting with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the climate conference in France on Monday, while Lavrov had earlier canceled a trip to Turkey immediately after the plane downing.
Lavrov, however, said on Wednesday that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu is "insisting" on holding talks with him on the sidelines of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Ministerial Council in Belgrade on Thursday and Friday.
"We will not be evading this contact", he said, adding, "We will hear what Mr. Cavusoglu has to say. Perhaps there will be something new after what has already been said publicly."
President Erdogan has stopped short of apologizing to Moscow over the incident, saying that Turkey has the right to protect its border.[ptv]