Ramzan Kadyrov, the head of the Republic of Chechnya, has said that he is waiting for Turkey's response over the opening of a park named after Dzhokhar Dudayev, the leader of Chechen separatists.
Speaking to reporters on Dec. 26, Kadyrov, who previously threatened Ankara with erecting a statue of Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan as a retaliatory move, said that he wouldn't want relations with Turkey to deteriorate over the park.
"The Foreign Ministry has already reacted and we are waiting for a response from Turkey," RIA Novosti cited Kadyrov as saying.
The Chechen leader also said that he hopes that the Turkish leadership will make the "right decision."
"We love Turkey very much ..., rich history ..., Muslim heritage ... Therefore, we would not want our relations to deteriorate because of an incomprehensible situation," Kadyrov added.
The row over the park in Turkey's northwestern province of Kocaeli has been ongoing for a week. Kadyrov released a harsh statement against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan last week and slammed Ankara for opening a park named after a "terrorist."
The Chechen leader urged Erdoğan to determine whether he supports "transparent and honest relations with the Russian Federation." According to Kadyrov, the current actions by the Turkish authorities are a direct threat to Turkish-Russian relations, they should be noticed and preventive diplomatic measures should be taken.
Russia has also voiced discontent with the park, with Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov saying that Moscow conveyed its disapproval to Ankara via diplomatic channels.
"We have already notified our Turkish colleagues via diplomatic channels that we, to put it mildly, do not approve of such names in Turkish cities," he said on Dec. 22, adding that the reaction of Kadyrov to this event was quite explainable.
"This is a very emotional yet explainable reaction of the head of a Russian region who weathered several wars, several wars that were provoked, started by terrorists who attempted to take control over that Russian region," he said.
'Against the spirit of bilateral relations'
Maria Zakharova, the Russian Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman, said on Dec. 24 that naming the park after Dudayev was against the spirit of Ankara-Moscow relations.
"Such attempts are unacceptable and certainly require the most resolute condemnation by the entire international community. We must be united here. They contradict the spirit, including of Russian-Turkish relations and mutually beneficial cooperation, the preservation and strengthening of which the heads of our states devote so much attention," Zakharova said during a briefing.
The spokeswoman added that Russia hopes its signals "will be taken seriously by the Turkish side."