Russia on Wednesday accused Turkey of “planned provocation” in the aftermath of the crash of a Russian airliner war killed near the Syrian border by the Turkish army, while avoiding, as Ankara, a military escalation in the region.
“We have serious doubts as to whether it is a spontaneous act, it’s much like a planned provocation,” said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at a press conference.
However, Russia “will not make war on Turkey (its) relations with the Turkish people have not changed,” Lavrov said.
In Ankara, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has also sought to ease tensions, ensuring he had “absolutely no intention to escalate after this affair.”
On the same line, the Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said before the deputies of his Justice and Development Party (AKP) that Ankara was “friend and neighbor” of Russia.
In a meeting with Erdogan, French President Francois Hollande has also called for “de-escalation”, as the United States and NATO, which includes Turkey.
On Tuesday, a Russian Su-24 fighter-bomber was shot down by two Turkish F-16 fighters. Ankara says it was in Turkish airspace, while Moscow ensures conversely he was shot in the Syrian sky.
Russian side as Turkish media published “evidence” meant to support versions of their government. A man introduced as the driver by Russian television said it had received “no demand” from the Turkish army. The Turkish daily Sabah, close to the regime, for its part, has published an audio recording in which a voice to the Turkish accent called in English a plane to “change direction to the south immediately.”
This incident, the most serious occurred between Russia and Turkey since the start of the Russian military intervention in Syria two months ago, has killed two Russian soldiers, one of two pilots and a military participant a / Rescue recovery operation who was killed after his helicopter commando was also killed.
For the sake of appeasement Lavrov and Mevlut Cavusoglu his Turkish counterpart “have agreed to meet in the coming days,” according to the spokesman of the Turkish Foreign Ministry Tanju Bilgiç.
During a long telephone conversation, the Turkish Minister has “tried to justify the decisions of the air force” of his country by saying that the Russian aircraft “flew a total of 17 seconds in the air space Turkish, “revealed Mr. Lavrov.
But “this attack is totally unacceptable,” he insisted, adding that Moscow was “seriously re-evaluate” relations between the two countries.
Moscow and Ankara are against longtime regarding the Syrian crisis. Turkey has made the departure of President Bashar al-Assad the sine qua non of any political settlement to the conflict that has killed 250,000 people in four and a half years. Conversely, Russia argues against all odds with Iran, the Syrian president.
Turkish President again denounced Wednesday’s intervention led by Moscow since September 30 in Syria, saying Russia did not seek the views of the organization Islamic State (EI).
The incident also threatens to derail efforts driven by France to hang Moscow in antidjihadiste coalition after the attacks in Paris.
In that regard, Lavrov also announced that Russia supported the proposal of French President Francois Hollande to close Turkish-Syrian border in order to “stop the flow of fighters” jihadists
Une des vitres brisées par les manifestants de… (PHOTO KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV, AFP) – image 2.0
One of the windows broken by protesters of the Turkish Embassy in Moscow on Wednesday.
In a telephone interview, Erdogan and US President Barack Obama stressed the “importance of defusing tensions and ensuring avoid further similar incidents,” according to the Turkish presidency.
But according to the Turkish press, citing military sources, the Turkish Air Force has stepped up its patrols on the Syrian border since the incident yesterday: 18 F-16 are now assigned to this task.
In the street, this crisis is illustrated with a demonstration outside the Turkish Embassy in Moscow, bringing together hundreds of people who threw stones and broke windows, according to an AFP photographer. According to the radio Echos of Moscow, a dozen protesters were arrested.
And Russian leaders do not hide their anger.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, after Tuesday denounced a “stab in the back by the accomplices of terrorists,” urged his countrymen to boycott Turkish beaches facing the “terrorist threat” in the country.
His Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev criticized Ankara’s “absurd and criminal actions.” He also accused Turkey of “protecting the militants of the Islamic State group” and stressed “the direct financial interest of some Turkish officials” in the sale of crude oil produced in areas controlled by jihadists.
Russian media, outraged by the attitude of Ankara, however, have called the government to cautiously face the military escalation and the risks for the economy.