Turkish President Apologizes to Putin for Downing of Russian Military Jet

The jet was shot down at the Syrian border

(MOSCOW)— Turkey’s president has apologized to Moscow for the downing of a Russian military jet at the Syrian border, a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday.

Putin has received a message from Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressing his “sympathy and deep condolences” to the family of the killed pilot and apologized, Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

Russia reacted with ire after Turkey in November shot down a Russian Su-24 bomber at the Syrian border for allegedly violating its airspace. The Kremlin said it wanted an apology which never came and last year imposed an import ban on selected Turkish foodstuff, halted package tours to Turkey and introduced other restrictive measures that hampered the flourishing bilateral trade and business.

The Kremlin on Monday released the excerpts of Erdogan’s letter.

“I would like to express my sympathy and deep condolences to the family of the dead Russian pilot and I say I’m sorry,” the Kremlin said on its website quoting Erdogan. “I share their pain with all my heart.”

Peskov also quoted Erdogan as saying he was willing and ready to cooperate with Russia in fighting terrorism and resolving regional crises.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim earlier Monday said there were “beautiful developments” concerning Russia but did not provide details.