Kremlin has turned down Ankara's proposal for a bilateral meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on the sidelines of the UN climate change summit in Paris. Turkey had proposed the presidential meeting to ease tensions over the downing of a Russian jet near the Syrian border.
Despite Erdoğan's repeated attempts to hold talks with Putin, Moscow has been snubbing Ankara since the Russian warplane was shot down by Turkish fighter jets. Kremlin has been expecting an apology from Turkey but Erdogan has only expressed regret so far.
"We are really saddened by this incident. We did not want such a thing to happen but unfortunately it did. I hope such a thing will not be repeated," Erdogan said ahead of his visit to Paris.
He said: "The international climate summit in Paris will provide a chance to repair our relations with Russia. Confrontations will not bring anyone happiness. As important as Russia is for Turkey, Turkey is important for Russia."
Russia has decided to reconsider its ties with Turkey after Moscow called the downing of the jet a planned operation. Turkey's F-16s brought down Russia's SU-24 bomber on 24 November for violating Ankara's sovereign airspace. Moscow contests the claims and insists the downed aircraft did not enter Turkish territory. One of the two pilots managed to escape the ground fire when they ejected after the plane was shot.
Just before leaving for Paris to participate in the climate talks, Putin signed a decree on special economic sanctions against Turkey. While explaining Russia's actions in giving the cold shoulder to Turkey, Putin's aide Yuri Ushakov said: "Our reaction boils down to answering that we've informed the Russian leadership on the Turkish requests for a telephone conversation and a possible meeting in the format of the climate summit in Paris. We can see a lack of readiness on the part of Turkey to offer elementary apologies in connections with the incident."