Putin snubs Erdogan meet at Paris climate conference

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech at the COP21 World Climate Change Conference in France.
Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech at the COP21 World Climate Change Conference in France. PHOTO: EPA

MOSCOW (AFP) - Russian President Vladimir Putin has rejected a meeting with Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the climate conference in Paris on Monday (Nov 30), the Kremlin said, as a dispute rages over Ankara's downing of a Russian warplane.

"No meeting with Erdogan is planned. There is no discussion of such a meeting," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists.

Putin's snub comes after the Turkish leader called for face-to-face talks with Putin on the sidelines of the summit to discuss the shooting down of the plane on the Syria-Turkish border.

Moscow and Ankara are at daggers drawn over the incident last Tuesday (Nov 24), with Russia announcing a raft of economic sanctions against Turkey and the two leaders engaging in a furious war of words.

Ankara on Monday (Nov 30) sent back to Russia the body of a pilot killed in the downing of the jet after it was delivered from Syria to Turkey over the weekend.

Putin is likely to meet US President Barack Obama for informal talks on the margins of the climate conference in Paris, the Kremlin said.

World leaders are gathering in Paris for an historic summit aimed at ending decades of political gridlock and forging an elusive agreement to avert calamitous global warming.