Turkish FM calls Russia’s Lavrov 'to express sorrow'
AFP PhotoTurkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu called his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Nov. 25 "to express his sorrow" over the downing of a Russian jet by Turkey near the Syrian border.
The Turkish foreign minister expressed “his sincere condolences,” Lavrov told reporters at a press conference in Moscow. “But the Turkish minister tried to excuse the incident,” Lavrov added.
He also said Russia “is not going to wage a war against Turkey” and that Russia’s attitude toward the Turkish people remained unchanged.
“But we will seriously reassess all bilateral agreements,” he said. “As for specific measures, we’ve recommended our citizens not to travel to Turkey.”
Lavrov also argued that the downing of the SU-24 fighter jet by Turkey appeared to be a “planned provocation” as the incident heightened tensions between Moscow and Ankara.
“We have serious doubts about this being an unpremeditated act, it really looks like a planned provocation,” Lavrov said.
The minister said he raised this topic with his Turkish counterpart as well, questioning why emergency communications with Russia were not used, referring to a hotline established between the Russian National Defense Control Center and the Turkish Defense Ministry.
“The line was established during the beginning of the Russian Aerospace Forces operation in Syria, and wasn’t used either yesterday or before that, which provokes serious questions,” Lavrov told reporters.