Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he sees Turkey as a friendly nation, but has some trouble with its politicians.
Putin, who was speaking in a call-in TV show, said: “We consider Turkey as our friend. We have problems with some politicians whose attitude we see as insufficient.”
The Russian president also accused Turkish authorities of cooperating with radical terrorists instead of fighting against them. Putin emphasized that southern Turkey is going through a civil war. He also called on Russian tourists to return back to their country, and said “There are no security guarantees for Russians in Turkey.”
The two countries’ ties have been worsened since Nov. 24, 2015, after a Turkish jet shot down a Russian warplane for apparently violating Turkish airspace for 17 seconds at the Syrian border.
Russia has unleashed massive anti-Turkey propaganda right after the jet incident. Russians were outraged over the downing of their warplane, a rare event for a major power such as Russia and huge humiliation for Putin.
When a young girl asked a question to Putin if he would save his Turkish or Ukrainian counterpart if they both were drowning, Putin said if someone has decided to get drowned, it is impossible to save them anymore.
“But, of course, we are ready to lend a helping hand to any of our partners if they also want that too.”