ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said on Monday that there was an acceleration in steps to smooth relations with Russia, strained since Turkey shot down a Russian warplane near the border with Syria last November.

Kurtulmus welcomed what he said was a decision to allow some Russian companies to employ Turkish nationals again, in comments during a televised news conference in Ankara.

(Reporting by Ercan Gurses; Writing by Daren Butler and Seda Sezer; Editing by Nick Tattersall)