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Turkish PM states importance of relations with Moscow, still refusing to appologize

December 31, 2015, 8:55 UTC+3 ANKARA
Ahmet Davutoglu once again said Turkey would not apologize for shooting down the Russian plane as it had allegedly violated Turkey’s airspace
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Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu

© AP Photo/Prime Minister's Press Servic

ANKARA, December 31. /TASS/. Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has failed to say in an interview with the country’s NTV channel when relations with Moscow will improve.

"It is difficult to forecast the timeframe for settling the crisis in relations with Russia," the prime minister said, stressing: "These relations are very important for Turkey."

The relations with Moscow are also important for the Balkan region and Europe, he added.

Davutoglu once again claimed that the Russian Su-24M bomber had violated Turkey’s airspace. Turkey will not apologize for shooting down the plane, he said, adding that Turkey’s Armed Forces will continue protecting the country’s borders.

Relations between Russia and Turkey deteriorated after the incident on November 24 when a Turkish F-16 fighter jet brought down a Russian Sukhoi Su-24M bomber, which, Ankara alleges, violated the country’s airspace near the Syrian border. The Russian Defense Ministry said the warplane was flying over Syrian territory and had never violated Turkey’s airspace.

Moscow has announced economic sanctions against Turkey over the attack that President Vladimir Putin has described as "stab in Russia’s back" delivered by terrorists’ accomplices.

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