ANKARA:Turkey says it has received the body of a Russian pilot killed after his plane was shot down on the Syrian border, foreign media reported on Sunday.Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the body of Lieutenant Colonel Oleg Peshkov would be given back to Russia. Russia state television reported had reported that Peshkov’s body was still in rebel-controlled Syrian territory.It may be mentioned here that the pilot was killed by firing from the ground as he ejected. Russia posthumously awarded him its highest honour for valour, Hero of Russia.Tuesday’s incident has led to heated rhetoric between the two countries, with Russia announcing a package of economic sanctions against Turkey. Another pilot in the plane survived and was rescued from rebel-held territory in Syria.A decree signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday banned imports from Turkey, the work of Turkish companies in Russia and any Turkish nationals working for Russian companies. It also called for an end to charter flights between the two countries.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had refused to apologise to Russia over the incident. On Friday, he accused Moscow of “playing with fire” in its Syria operations. But on Saturday, he said he was “saddened” by the downing of the jet.Turkey and Russia have important economic links. Russia is Turkey’s second-largest trading partner, while more than three million Russian tourists visited Turkey last year.