Kremlin Says It Will Take Time to Mend Ties With Turkey

MOSCOW (AP/Reuters) -
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses people gathered for a traditional "Iftar" feast at his palace in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, June 27, 2016. Erdogan has apologized to Russia, expressing his "sympathy and deep condolences" to the family of the killed pilot for the downing of a Russian military jet at the Syrian border, Dmitry Peskov spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday. (Murat Cetinmuhurdar, Presidential Press Service, Pool via AP)
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses people gathered for a traditional “Iftar” feast at his palace in Ankara, Turkey, Monday. (Murat Cetinmuhurdar, Presidential Press Service, Pool via AP)

The spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin says it will take time to mend ties with Turkey after the November downing of a Russian military jet.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan sent a letter of formal apology to Putin on Monday, seven months after Turkey shot down the Russian jet on a mission in Syria, triggering a slew of Russian sanctions that have dealt a severe blow to the Turkish economy.

Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Tuesday called the apology “a very important” step but added that the ties between the two countries would not go back to where they were overnight. Both Russia and Turkey will need to “take more than one step to meet each other,” he said.

President Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman said on Tuesday that Turkey’s efforts to restore ties with Israel and Russia are separate issues and not the result of a change in policy.

Ibrahim Kalin also told a news briefing that Turkey’s policies on Ukraine, Syria and Crimea will not change and it will continue to discuss its disagreements with Moscow.