Putin Says Russia Awaiting Apology From Turkey
November 26, 2015
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he thinks Turkey's leadership is 'deliberately' pushing bilateral relations to a dead end.
Speaking in Moscow on November 26, Putin said Moscow was waiting for an apology and an offer of compensation from Turkey after a Turkish Air Force jet shot down a Russian warplane along the Turkey-Syria border on November 24. A Russian pilot died in the incident.
Putin added that he expected Ankara to 'punish the criminals for this crime.'
He was speaking at a credentials reception for 15 new ambassadors to Russia.
The Russian president also said that the emergence of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group was a result of 'the passivity of some countries and often [their] direct complicity in terrorism.'
He said that he hoped a 'real, broad international coalition' will be formed into a 'coordinated, powerful force' that will 'support the actions of the Russian military conducting successful operations against terrorist groups and structures in Syria.'
Ankara says it shot down the Russian warplane after it violated Turkish airspace and ignored repeated warnings. Moscow says the plane never left Syrian airspace.
Putin called the incident 'a treacherous stab in the back' that 'contravenes common sense and international law.'
Turkish President Recept Tayyip Erdogan went as far as saying that Russia should apologize for violating Turkey's airspace.
'Those who violated our airspace are the ones who need to apologize,' Erdogan was quoted as saying on November 26 on CNN.
'Our pilots and our armed forces, they simply fulfilled their duties, which consisted of responding to...violations of the rules of engagement. I think this is the essence.'
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu earlier said in response that Ankara will not 'apologize on an occasion when we are right.'
Moscow Mulls Sanctions
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said the same day that he had given his government two days to come up with a packet of punitive measures against Turkey.
Medvedev said the shooting down of the Russian plane was 'definitely an act of aggression' and said it was necessary to take 'economic measures' in addition to the diplomatic and military responses that have already been adopted.
He said Russia would suspend ongoing talks on preferential trade status for Turkey and would consider restricting Turkish labor migrants in Russia.
Earlier, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow expected Turkey and other countries to respect the inviolability of marine traffic through the Black Sea straits as laid out in the Montreux Convention.
Peskov said that a Turkey-Russia summit scheduled for St. Petersburg in December had not been 'officially canceled,' but that 'there are many questions.'
He added that the Kremlin did not plan a bilateral meeting between Putin and Erdogan on the sidelines of the November 30 climate summit in Paris.
With reporting by TASS, Interfax, and Reuters
Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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