vladimir putin, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.png
Photograph: screenshot / youtube.com

Russia's ban on charter flights to Turkey has been lifted, the Kremlin said in a statement Thursday, signaling a further thaw in tensions after months of bad blood between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Russia imposed the ban and other sanctions against Turkey last year in retaliation for the Turkish military shooting down a Russian warplane on the Syrian border.

The frayed relations began to improve this week when Erdogan sent Putin a message apologizing to the family the deceased pilot.

The leaders have also agreed to meet in person, apparently for the first time since the November incident.

Russian tourism to Turkey last month was down more than 90 per cent year on year, and overall tourism in Turkey was down about 35 per cent, according to figures by Turkey's Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

Russia and Turkey have been at odds about the Syrian civil war, in which they are supporting opposing sides.

Russia has been waging a bombing campaign to support the Syrian government in an effort to restore some stability to the country.

Meanwhile, Turkey supports certain rebel groups seeking to overthrow the Syrian government, which has been accused of crimes against humanity, including killing civilians.

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