Russia, Turkey foreign ministers may meet for downed plane

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says he would not hesitate to meet Turkish counterpart during Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE) summit in Belgrade

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is seen together with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said he did not decline an offer from his Turkish counterpart to meet this week.

"We will not hesitate to meet at OSCE [summit]," Lavrov told reporters on Wednesday after meeting Greek Cypriot FM Yannis Kasulidis as part of talks on the Greek Cypriot side of the Mediterranean island.

His remarks followed a diplomatic crisis between Moscow and Ankara after two Turkish F-16 fighter jets on an aerial patrol last week intercepted an unidentified warplane within rules of engagement when it intruded into Turkish airspace on the Syria border, despite warnings.

Lavrov said that relations between the two countries would not be as they were in the past following the incident.

Russia’s top diplomat added that he would not say what Turkey should do from now on, as he believed both sides understood the situation well.

He said the request for a meeting during an upcoming OSCE summit to be held Thursday and Friday in Belgrade came from Turkey’s Mevlut Cavusoglu during a phone conversation between the two after the incident.

On Tuesday, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed a government decree to halt the import of Turkish white meat goods, as well as vegetables and fruits, as of Jan. 1 next year.

Turkey is a major supplier of food and agricultural produce to Russia with $1.68 billion worth of trade last year.

Turkish companies operating in Russia and Turkish staff employed by Russian companies will also face restrictions.

The decree will also suspend a co-funding that was planned to be established between Ankara and Moscow to support joint projects.

In addition to the sanctions, the Russian government also announced that charter flights between Russia and Turkey will be cancelled as of Dec. 1.