Just a day after boasting that he personally gave the order for Turkish fighter jets to down a Russian bomber, Turkish president Recep Erdogan seems to be having the political equivalent of "buyer's remorse."
Erdogan has dropped the bellicose rhetoric a good couple of octaves and now says he regrets the shootdown. He's also put out word that he's hoping for a one on one, "kiss and make up" with Putin at the Paris climate summit.
Putin, meanwhile, isn't showing any inclination to let bygones be bygones. If anything he seems intent on ratcheting up the pressure on his Turkish counterpart. Putin aides are again raising the claim that Erdogan's son is running a conduit to get ISIS oil out of Syria and onto world markets.
Putin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, says Putin is busy grinding his axe.
Peskov said the crisis had prompted Putin, whose ministers are preparing retaliatory economic measures against Turkey, to “mobilize” in the way an army does in tense times.
“The president is mobilized, fully mobilized, mobilized to the extent that circumstances demand,” said Peskov.
“The circumstances are unprecedented. The gauntlet thrown down to Russia is unprecedented. So naturally the reaction is in line with this threat.”
Peskov, according to the TASS news agency, also spoke of how Erdogan’s son had a “certain interest” in the oil industry. Putin has said oil from Syrian territory controlled by Islamic State militants is finding its way to Turkey.
Erdogan has spoken of slander and asked anyone making such accusations to back up their words with evidence.
Peskov said he “noted” that Turkey’s newly-appointed energy minister, Berat Albayrak, was Erdogan’s son-in-law.
Perhaps to demonstrate Moscow's fist in a velvet glove, Peskov reminded reporters that there are currently about 200,000 Turkish citizens on Russian soil.
Erdogan seems to be squirming. He's been told by NATO leaders that, if Turkey does decide to ring the Article 5 doorbell, it shouldn't expect NATO countries to be coming to the door.