Russia said on Tuesday said Syria's shooting down of the Turkish warplane should not be seen as a provocation and warned world powers against using the incident to push for stronger action against Damascus.
It was Moscow's first reaction to Friday's downing of a Turkish military aircraft by Syrian air defences, which has given an international dimension to the worsening conflict in Syria.
Turkey's NATO allies condemned Syria's action as unacceptable but stopped short of threatening any military response. Turkey also plans to approach the UN Security Council.
Erdoğan lauded NATO’s condemnation and described it as a positive development as he talked to reporters in a joint news conference with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev after the signing ceremony of a gas pipeline in İstanbul on Tuesday.
"It is important that what happened is not viewed as a provocation or a premeditated action (by Syria)," Russia's foreign ministry said in a statement on its website.
Moscow reiterated calls for restraint, warning that any political escalation would be "extremely dangerous" and threaten international efforts to salvage a moribund six-point Syrian peace plan drawn up by UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan.
"Once again, we call on all sides to act exclusively in the interests of such an agenda (the peace plan) and not to take steps that go beyond its limits," the ministry said.
"We believe that the best course of action is restraint and constructive interaction between the Turkish and Syrian sides in order to clarify all the circumstances of the incident."
Erdoğan says he doesn’t understand on what bases Lavrov, referring to the Russian statement, made that statement. “He was different in his talks with our foreign minister [Ahmet Davutoğlu]. He is saying this after his talks with Syrian officials. He is kind of being their mouthpiece,” Erdoğan said.
Erdoğan says evidence Turkey has suggests otherwise.
Syria provides Moscow with its firmest foothold in the Middle East, buys weapons from Russia worth billions of dollars, and hosts the Russian navy's only permanent warm water port outside the former Soviet Union.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that he would attend a meeting on Syria that Annan is trying to arrange on Saturday but suggested it would not produce results without the participation of Iran, a close Syrian ally.
"Iran must be present. Otherwise the circle of participants will be incomplete and will not gather everybody who has influence on all Syrian sides," Lavrov told reporters, on the sidelines of Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to Jordan.
Annan has also said Iran should attend, but diplomats say the United States, Saudi Arabia and others dislike that idea.
Russia has used its power of veto in the UN Security Council to shield Syria from harsher international sanctions over Damascus's crackdown on the 16-month revolt.
It has backed Annan's plan, insisting it is the only way to end the bloodshed in Syria and arguing firmly against any kind of military intervention.
So far Annan's attempts to get the Syrian opposition and government to begin talks aimed at ending the conflict have failed, but he is pushing for a meeting of key regional players and permanent UN Security Council members in Geneva on Saturday, hoping to kickstart political negotiations.