Russian FM "hears nothing new" from Turkish colleague

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says he "heard nothing new" when he met with Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu in Belgrade on Thursday.

Source: B92, Beta, RT

The two ministers are in Serbia for the OSCE Ministerial Council, and met on the sidelines of the event, for the first time since Turkey shot down a Russian bomber near the Syria-Turkey border.

“We met with the head of the Turkish Foreign Ministry on his insistent request, we heard nothing new. The Turkish foreign minister confirmed the approaches publicly expressed by Turkey’s president and prime minister. We have repeated our position,” Lavrov said, according to RT.

Lavrov added that he reiterated Russia's position that the shooting down of the Su-24 was a criminal act that went against all norms of international law.

Cavusoglu said after the meeting that "joint efforts in the fight against Islamic State and violations of Turkish airspace should not be mixed."

“The situation remains tense. It would be unrealistic to say that these first negotiations solved any problems. We expressed our sadness and expressed our condolences for the Russian pilot who lost his life,” Cavusoglu told Turkish media, as quoted by RT.

Lavov also commented on Turkey's that "Russian citizens are involved in the purchase of oil from IS" to say it was strange they came only after Russia presented its claims that the Turkish president and his family are involved in this illegal trade.

Lavrov also met with U.S. counterpart John Kerry while in Belgrade, and said they spoke "about the measures for the closure of the Syrian-Turkish border, as well as the Turkish-Iraqi border."

"It's all connected. We presented our ideas on how this can be done. The Americans understand that it need to be done and understand that the Kurds are the allies of the United States and other countries," Lavrov said.

As for Russia's sanctions against Turkey, he said that shooting down of the aircraft could not pass without a response, but that Moscow is trying to make sure these measures do not affect ordinary people.

According to Lavrov, Kerry said that the U.S. will examine the reports of the Russian Ministry of Defense about Turkey and the illegal oil trade.

Lavrov said late on Thursday that the OSCE conference was completing work on a document on terrorism and said he hoped member-states' position on this would be presented "clearly and unambiguously."

The Russian minister also stated that a list of opposition and terrorist groups in Syria should be made as soon as possible, as this was a requirement "without which it is impossible to continue the process." He added that none of the groups of the Syrian opposition should dominate in the delegation that will take part in negotiations with the government in Damascus.


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