Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he was ready to consider restoring relations with Ankara, but that would require a first step from Turkey.
“Russia also wants to restore relations with Turkey, we still don’t understand why plane was shot-down,” Putin told a joint news conference in Athens with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.
Relations between the two countries hit a new low on November 2015, when Turkish jets downed a Sukhoi-24M bomber in Syrian border for violating its airspace. Turkey provided radar data of its planes as evidence of Russia’s intrusion into its territory, Moscow insisted that the SU-24 had not breached the border.
Ankara has made several attempts to resolve the crisis with Russia, however ,did not receive sufficient response from Kremlin. In April, former Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu offered a face-to-face meeting to Russian leaders to settle the diplomatic row while Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Ankara expects a “recovery” in its strained relationship with Russia but warned that the process would require patience as they want an end to “groundless accusations”.
Following the incident, Moscow announced wide-ranging sanctions against Turkey, including the end of visa-free travel and a ban on Turkish food products. Russia also called on its nationals to boycott Turkey as a tourist destination.
Turkey and Russia for years have had different policies on Syria and Ukraine. Turkey did not recognize the Russian annexation of Ukraine’s autonomous republic of Crimea in 2014 and has repeatedly accused Moscow of supporting the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria.