Turkey, who shot down a Russian military plane on November 24 over the Syrian border, acted in a “hostile” towards Russia, Vladimir Putin said Thursday that he was “disgusted” by the attitude of Ankara after the incident.
“The acts of the Turkish power on our plane they shot down were not benevolent, but hostile,” insisted the Russian president at its annual press conference in front of more than a thousand journalists.
Turkish F-16 shot down a Sukhoi-24 November 24 while flying over the Turkish-Syrian border, killing a pilot and that of a Russian soldier during an operation to recover ‘crew.
“They shot our plane, people were killed. That’s what really shocked if it was really an accident, as stated by the Turkish government (…) we take the phone right away and we can explain, “he said .
“Instead, they soon went running to Brussels:” Alert is hurting us! ” Who hurt you? We attacked someone? No! “He continued, accusing Turkey of” having hidden behind NATO “, she is a member.
“Someone within the Turkish government decided to lick the Americans somewhere,” said the Russian president, known for his outspokenness.
According to Mr. Putin, Turkey has shot down the Russian military plane to Russia “leaked” Syria, where it conducts air strikes since Sept. 30 at the request of Damascus.
“But Russia is not that kind of country,” he said.
Rather, “we have strengthened our presence in Syria, increased the number of our military aircraft. Before, we were not there for anti-aircraft defense systems, now there are S-400. If before flying over Turkey and continually violated the airspace of Syria, well, now they fly! “He began.
Calling again “stab in the back” crash of the Russian airplane, Putin said “do not see prospects (improvement) at government level” for Russian-Turkish relations.
“Someone within the Turkish government decided to lick the Americans somewhere.”
President of Russia
Trump, a “brilliant man and full of talent”
The candidate for the Republican primary in the United States, Donald Trump, is a “brilliant man and full of talent”, the “undisputed favorite of the presidential race,” said Thursday President Vladimir Putin was quoted by Russian news agencies.
“He says he wants another level of relations, closer relations, deeper, with Russia, how could we not acknowledge this? Of course we welcome it, “said Putin was quoted by Russian agencies
The strikes are helping Assad in Syria but also the opposition
Putin also assured that strikes its fighter jets to Syria supported not only the army of President Bashar al-Assad, but also the “armed opposition” who fights the jihadists of the organization Islamic State (EI).
The surprising statements of the head of the Russian state intervene on the eve of a meeting on Syria in New York between Foreign Ministers, which will be discussed in particular the fate of the Syrian president, crucial element of the settlement of a conflict that has made more than 250 000 dead and several million displaced in four years and a half.
Engaged militarily since September 30 in air strikes in Syria, Russian aviation is regularly accused by the West and Arab countries to hit the moderate opposition fighting the Syrian regime rather than the jihadists of the Islamic State.
US Secretary of State John Kerry was still worried Wednesday during his visit to Moscow of strikes against groups of the opposition. He nevertheless assured that Mr. Putin had taken his criticisms “into account”.
For days, the Kremlin and the Russian Ministry of Defense multiply ads of military aid to those Russian planes bombed before.
“We support their efforts with strikes (of the opposition, Ed) in the fight against EI as we support those of the Syrian army”, told Mr. Putin during his annual news conference.
The Ministry of Defence had already assured Tuesday that the Russian army was coordinating its action in Syria with a force of 5,000 men in 150 groups of “moderate and patriotic opposition” fighting alongside Assad’s army.
Russian military evoke particular components of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), the main armed group in Syria moderated, and what appears to be a coalition of Arab and Kurdish forces fighting the jihadists in the north-east.
On Wednesday, the Coalition of the Syrian opposition, the main formation of the opposition in exile, has denied any military help from Russia at the ASL, which fights the army of Assad. Instead, it accused the Kurds to cooperate with the Russian army.
Moscow has repeatedly said to be ready to establish contacts with the Free Syrian Army to coordinate their actions and find a political solution to the conflict, while ironically on its real existence or that of its leaders.
No “sanction” against Ukraine
President Putin has denied any intention to introduce “sanctions” against Ukraine after its decision to suspend the free trade area between the two countries, ensuring that Moscow had no choice given the rapprochement between Kiev and the European Union.
“We do not intend to introduce any sanctions against Ukraine,” insisted the Russian president.
Putin on Wednesday signed a decree that suspends from January 1, the date of entry into force of the Association Agreement between Kiev and Brussels, the application by Ukraine of a 2011 treaty which established preferential tariffs between several former Soviet republics.
Specifically, the goods from the territory of Ukraine will not be able to pass the Russian border and benefit from zero tariffs but will be subject to tariffs of around 7% on average, said the Russian president.
“This is not our choice, we fought for it does not happen, but we would not listen to us,” he assured, saying that Kiev had decided “unilaterally” to leave free trade area with Russia moving closer to Brussels.
He said the agreement with the EU imposes particular goods in Ukraine to respect European regulations, which is not the case of Russian goods. “What’s going to happen, they will throw them?” Questioned Mr Putin.
Russia also believes that the agreement may flood its market European goods, that refutes Brussels.
To meet the concerns of Moscow, the EU has organized unsuccessfully numerous negotiations and further talks are scheduled Monday.
Failing agreement, Russia plans to expand to Ukraine on 1 January the embargo already applied to Western countries that punish her for her alleged involvement in the Ukrainian crisis.
In Brussels on Wednesday, the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko recognized by Moscow as the suspension of preferential tariffs would “prejudice” in the Ukrainian economy. “We are ready to pay the price for our freedom and our European choice,” he began.
The refusal of the pro-Russian former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to sign the agreement with the EU in late 2013 was the origin of the pro-Western protests in Kiev that led to his flight in Russia. His departure was followed by the annexation of the Crimean peninsula by Russia and pro-Russian conflict with separatists in eastern Ukraine, which has more than 9,000 dead.
-With Maxim Popov