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Russia Wants Bilateral Talks with Turkish Foreign Minister in Sochi

Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu

Russia is prepared to hold bilateral talks with the Turkish Foreign Minister in Sochi, according to Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Vasily Nebezhnya, the RIA Novosti news agency reported Thursday.

A meeting of foreign ministers from the member states of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation organization will take place on July 1 in Sochi. The economic organization, with headquarters in Turkey's Istanbul, includes 11 countries, six of which border the Black Sea.

“We invited all the ministers and welcome them all, including Turkey and Ukraine, but there has been no response from them. I think that this week, or by the beginning of the next week, it will be clear [who will attend],” Nebenzya said.

Russian-Turkish ties were damaged after Ankara shot down a Russian Su-24 bomber on the Turkish-Syrian border in November last year.

Moscow repeatedly said it will start dialogue with Turkey only after it apologizes for the incident and agrees to pay compensation. On Wednesday, Turkish presidential spokesperson Ibrahim Kalyn said that Ankara is not considering this option.

“The aircraft that was shot down violated our airspace,” Kalyn said in an interview with the Turkish Haberturk news website, the Kommersant newspaper reported.

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