Turkey has received no Russian query on grounded plane-official
AA PhotoTurkey has received no formal query from Russia about its interception of a Syrian plane en route from Moscow to Damascus with Russian passengers on board, a Turkish Foreign Ministry official said today, Reuters reported.
Russia demands Turkish explanation for Syria plane intercept
Russia today demanded that Turkey explain its interception of a Syrian plane flying from Moscow, saying that Ankara had put the lives passengers at risk by forcing it to land in the Turkish capital, AFP reported.
"We are concerned that this emergency situation put at risk the lives and safety of passengers, who included 17 Russian citizens," a foreign ministry statement said.
"The Russian side continues to insist on an explanation of the reasons for such actions by the Turkish authorities."
The foreign ministry also listed a number of what it saw as serious shortcomings by the Turkish authorities in their handling of the incident.
"The Turkish side did not inform the Russian embassy in Ankara that there are Russian citizens among the detained plane's passengers," the statement said.
"We found out about this from news websites." The embassy "demanded from Turkish authorities to allow access to Russian citizens. Consulate employees and a doctor were sent to the airport. However Turkish authorities denied the diplomats a meeting with our compatriots, without an explanation," the statement said.
The Russian passengers had to spend eight hours on the plane without food and were not permitted to go inside the airport, only to rarely exit the plane and go down to the landing strip, the statement said.
According to Turkey's Anatolia news agency, the plane was allowed to leave at 2330 GMT, nine hours after it was intercepted, with all of its 35 passengers on board.