Putin to have phone conversation with Erdogan on Wednesday – Kremlin

President Vladimir Putin will have a phone conversation with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayip Erdogan, on Wednesday – the first since Russia-Turkey relations became strained after last year’s downing of a Russian jet over Syria, the Kremlin reports.

“The phone conversation between President Putin and President Erdogan will take place tomorrow [on Wednesday], initiated by Russia,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Tuesday.

On Monday, Erdogan sent a letter to President Putin to offer his apologies for the death of a Russian pilot who was killed when his jet was downed over the Syrian-Turkish border. “The head of the Turkish state expressed his deep sympathy and condolences to the relatives of the deceased Russian pilot and said ‘sorry,’” Peskov said.

Russian-Turkish ties have seen a dramatic decline since last November when a Russian Su-24M bomber was shot down by a Turkish F16. One of the pilots died when shot while parachuting to the ground and a marine was killed in action during a rescue mission to save the surviving co-pilot.

The act of aggression prompted a quick response from Moscow, with Russia’s leader calling it “a stab in the back.” Economic sanctions restricting agricultural exports and tourism were imposed on Turkey almost immediately thereafter.