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Moscow violated our airspace again: Turkey

AFP
Published : Feb 1, 2016, 5:25 am IST
Updated : Feb 1, 2016, 5:25 am IST

Turkey on Saturday accused Russia of a fresh violation of its airspace, warning Moscow it would “face consequences” as relations between the two countries hit a new post-Cold War low.

Turkey on Saturday accused Russia of a fresh violation of its airspace, warning Moscow it would “face consequences” as relations between the two countries hit a new post-Cold War low.

The Turkish foreign ministry said a Russian Su-34 plane violated Turkish airspace at 09:46 GMT on Friday despite repeated warnings from Turkish air radar units in Russian and English. The Russian defence ministry dismissed the claim as “baseless propaganda”.

Ties between Ankara and Moscow plummeted after Turkey, a key Nato member, shot down a Russian fighter jet on the Syrian border in November, sparking a war of words with Russia which insisted its plane had not crossed into Turkish airspace. Russia launched a massive air campaign in September against rebels fighting to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad, a long-time Moscow ally whom Turkey bitterly opposes.

Ankara on Friday summoned the Russian ambassador to “strongly protest and condemn” the latest violation. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Russia would “have to face consequences if it keeps up such violations”. “Such irresponsible steps do not benefit either the Russian Federation, or Russia-Nato relations, or regional and global peace”, he told reporters at an Istanbul airport before setting off for a Latin America tour.

He also said he had asked to meet with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to discuss the crisis in their relationship, although it was not immediately clear if the request came after the latest airspace incident. The Turkish strongman has in recent weeks repeatedly, and in vain, called for a meeting with the Russian leader.

Location: Turkey, Ankara