MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Sunday, Demirtas announced plans to visit Moscow and hold talks with Lavrov. The following day, the Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed that the meeting would take place.
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has criticized Demirtas’s intention to visit Moscow, saying that the pro-Kurdish politician had chosen to start cooperating with “those, with whom Turkey has issues with.”
In announcing his visit to Moscow, Demirtas said that the policies pursued by Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party have led to a crisis in international relations, as well as expressing his willingness to help Turkish people, who were suffering from the tensions in Russia-Turkey relations.
The politician also expressed a commitment to establishing a representative office of his party in Moscow.
Russian-Turkish relations deteriorated following the downing of a Russian Su-24 aircraft by a Turkish F-16 fighter in Syria on November 24. According to Ankara, the missile was targeted in response to a violation of Turkish airspace. The Russian General Staff and the Syrian Air Defense Command have both said that the Su-24 never crossed into Turkish airspace.
In response to Ankara's "stab in the back," as the incident has been described by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Moscow has imposed a number of economic measures on Turkey. The measures, which include bans or restricts on the activities of Turkish organizations in Russia and prohibit Russian employers from hiring Turkish citizens, are due to take effect from January 1, 2016.