Second face-to-face meeting between Turkey and Russia amid continued tension

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High-level representatives from Ankara and Moscow have come together for face-to-face talks for the second time since Turkey downed a Russian warplane over airspace violations last month. 

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and Russian Federation Council Chairwoman Valentina Matviyenko came together in the Turkmenistan capital Ashgabat on the sidelines of an international conference over the weekend.

Çavuşoğlu and his Russia Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had met on Dec. 3 in Serbia on the sidelines of an OSCE meeting.

Speaking to reporters, Matviyenko said there had been no meeting planned in Ashgabat but Çavuşoğlu had approached her.

“I had a very busy meeting schedule and other international contacts had been planned. There was no planned meeting [with Turkey], but Turkish Foreign Minister [Çavuşoğlu] approached me,” said Matviyenko.

She repeated that Turkey must apologize to Russia in order to restore trust between the two countries.

“We are not responsible for such a crisis developing between Russia and Turkey. Turkey has put forth an aggressive attitude and this is an offense,” said Matviyenko, adding that this was behind Russian President Vladimir Putin’s hardline stance since the incident.

On Dec. 11, Putin ordered the Russian army to take “tough action against any threat in Syria,” while he has also approved a raft of economic sanctions against Turkey and Turkish goods.

“The one who attacked should take responsibility,” Matviyenko also added.

“I hope the time will come when the Turkish government will correctly evaluate what happened and apologize to Russia for what has been experienced,” she said.

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