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Kremlin Says Putin To Phone Erdogan For First Talks Since Plane Downing


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (left) called for normalizing ties in an apparent end to his feud with Russian President Vladimir Putin. (combo photo)

The Kremlin says President Vladimir Putin is to hold his first phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan since Ankara downed a Russian warplane late last year.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on June 28 that the call would take place on June 29 at the "initiative of the Russian side" but warned that the fence-mending process between the two countries would take time.

Relations between the two countries have soured since Turkey shot down a Russian warplane in November 2015, causing the death of a Russian pilot.

Following the incident along the Turkish-Syrian border, Putin imposed sanctions on Turkey and trade between the two countries plummeted.

Peskov also confirmed that Erdogan had sent a letter to Putin in which, according to Peskov, he offered an apology for the incident.

Ankara has said Erdogan expressed his "regret" over the incident in the letter to Putin and asked the family of the pilot who died to "excuse us," but has not explicitly confirmed he apologized for shooting down the plane.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on June 28 that Ankara will not pay compensation to Russia, explaining that legal proceedings were under way against an individual allegedly responsible for the killing of the Russian pilot.

Based on reporting by Interfax, TASS, AP, Hurriyet and Reuters