Turkish PM retracts compensation offer for downed Russia jet: media

Ankara (AFP) - Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim on Tuesday went back on an earlier offer of compensation to Russia for shooting down one of Moscow's military jets in November, media reported.

"Compensating Russia is not on the table, we have only expressed our regrets," CNN-Turk cited Yildirim as saying, hours after he said Ankara was ready to offer compensation for the incident that shattered ties between the two countries.

Speaking on public TV network TRT late Monday, Yildirim had said: "We have said that if necessary we are ready to pay compensation."

The confusion came a day after a major breakthrough in the diplomatic crisis between the two countries -- which back opposing sides in the Syrian war -- with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reaching out a hand of conciliation.

The Kremlin said Erdogan had apologised for the incident, which took place along the Turkish-Syrian border.

But Turkish officials said Erdogan had written to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to "express his regrets" over the incident rather than issue an outright apology.

Despite the retraction of the compensation offer, Erdogan and Putin are due to speak by phone on Wednesday for the first time since the plane was shot down, the Kremlin said.