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Lavrov Says Would Not Refuse Meeting With Turkish Counterpart

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said he would not refuse to meet his Turkish counterpart in Belgrade later this week.

Lavrov's comments were made on December 2 after a meeting with Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides in Nicosia.

A meeting of the ministerial council of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Belgrade, Serbia, is due to be held on December 3-4.

Lavrov said Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu was "insisting" on holding talks on the sidelines of the OSCE meeting. Lavrov said that he would "not be evading this contact," adding "we will hear what Mr. Cavusoglu has to say."

Relations between Ankara and Moscow have deteriorated since November 24, when a Russian warplane was shot down by a Turkish F-16 near the border with Syria, killing one of the pilots.

Ankara says that the plane was shot down after it illegally entered Turkish space. Russia insists the aircraft was above Syrian territory.

Based on live TV broadcast, Reuters and Interfax