Russia, Turkey Foreign Ministers Meet in Belgrade

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (L) and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (R) at the start of the annual Session of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe at Egmont Palace in Brussels, Belgium, 19 May 2015. File photo EPA/BGNES

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is meeting with his Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Belgrade, TASS reported on Thursday.

Their meeting is the first high-level contact between Ankara and Moscow since last month's downing of a Russian warplane by a Turkish fighter jet, which sparked a deep crisis in the relations between the two countries.  Russian President Vladimir Putin didn't meet with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan during the conference on climate change in Paris earlier this week.

Lavrov has said that the Turkish side was asking for contacts on the sidelines of the meeting of the foreign ministers of the countries of the Organsiation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in the Serbian capital.

"We will not evade that contact, we will listen to what Mr. Cavusoglu will tell us. Maybe there will be something new compared to what was said publicly," Lavrov said in Nicosia, Cyprus on Wednesday, according to TASS.

Relations between Moscow and Ankara have deteriorated considerably after a Turkish Air Force jet shot down a Russian warplane in the border region between Syria and Turkey on November 24. While Ankara claims that the Russian Su-24 bomber had violated Turkish airspace and ignored warnings to change course, Moscow says that no warnings had been issued and their plane had not intruded into Turkish airspace but was flying over Syrian territory.

Meanwhile, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has said that he is ready to provide Moscow with all the information about the downing of the Russian warplane.

"Then, if you want to get information about the incident, on how it happened, we will give it to you again, although we have already done this earlier," Davutoglu said during a joint...

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