Russian president Vladimir Putin has received a letter from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in which Erdogan apologized for the death of the Russian pilot who was shot down over the Syrian-Turkish border last November, the Kremlin said Monday.
Erdogan expressed readiness to restore relations with Moscow, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, according to RT.
“The head of the Turkish state expressed his deep sympathy and condolences to the relatives of the deceased Russian pilot and said ‘sorry,’” Peskov said.
The incident involving the downing of the Russian Su-24 bomber led to the worst deterioration of Turkish-Russian relations in recent history, with Russia describing it as a “stab in the back.”
In his letter, Erdogan said that Russia is “a friend and a strategic partner” of Turkey’s, and that Ankara would not want to spoil relations with it.
“We never had a desire or a deliberate intention to down an aircraft belonging to Russia,” the letter read, according to a statement published on the Kremlin website.