The Russian pilot rescued in Syria after his jet was shot down by Turkey said Wednesday he was eager to get back to the battlefield, NBC News reported.
"Our military medics can work wonders," Capt. Konstantin Murtakhtin said on Russian television after a 12-hour rescue mission brought him to safety at Russia's base in Latakia. "I am very eager to be discharged from the hospital to get back to the ranks."
"I have a little debt to pay back for the commander," Murtakhtin added, referring to his colleague Lt. Col. Oleg Peshkov, who Moscow said died in the ordeal.
Russia has awarded Murtakhtin an Order of Courage medal. Peshkov was posthumously given the Hero of Russia award — one of the highest honorary titles bestowed by the Russian government.
Meanwhile, Turkey's Foreign Ministry said Wednesday the foreign ministers of Turkey and Russia have agreed to meet for talks over the downing of the warplane, The Associated Press reported. But Russia's foreign minister said a meeting hadn't been confirmed.