Turkey deliberately dragging ties to a dead end: Putin
AP photoTurkey is deliberately attempting to bring relations between Moscow and Ankara to a standstill, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Nov. 26.
“It seems that the Turkish leadership is deliberately driving relations [between Russia and Turkey] into a dead end,” Reuters reported Putin as saying at Kremlin ambassadorial credentials ceremony.
Putin said Moscow was still awaiting an apology from Turkey for the downing of its fighter jet or an offer of reimbursement for damages.
Putin added that Turkey had not given assurances that “the culprits of this crime” would be punished.
Previously warm relations between the two countries soured after Turkey shot down a Russian Su-24 warplane on a bombing mission near the Turkey-Syria border due to alleged airspace violations on Nov. 24.
Turkey claimed that two Russian jets were nearing Turkish airspace and that it had warned the jets. One of them turned back but the other jet continued to cruise toward Turkish airspace despite multiple warnings, violating Turkish airspace for 17 seconds.
Russia insisted that its plane never violated Turkish airspace. NATO, of which Turkey is a member, said Turkey’s claims were true.
“What happened two days ago in the sky over Syria runs counter to common sense and international law: the aircraft was shot down over Syrian territory,” TASS News Agency reported Putin as saying during the same ceremony.
On the same day, the Kremlin said Russia was still awaiting a reasonable answer from Ankara on why it downed the Russian fighter jet.
“We are still waiting for an explanation, a realistic explanation from the Turkish side,” Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, told journalists in a conference call, Reuters reported.
Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, on Nov. 26 to urge calm and dialogue between Turkey and Russia after the incident.
In a telephone call with Lavrov, Kerry “also stressed the need for both sides not to allow this incident to escalate tensions between their two countries or in Syria,” the State Department said in a statement.