Heard ‘nothing new’ in talks with Turkey on downed jet: Russia

  • Reuters, Belgrade/Ankara
  • Updated: Dec 04, 2015 08:57 IST
(AFP Photo)

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said he heard “nothing new” from his Turkish counterpart on Thursday after the first high-level bilateral meet between the two countries since the Turkish airforce shot down a Russian jet ten days ago.

Moscow and Ankara are deeply at odds over what happened when Turkey downed the Russian SU-24 fighter bomber near the Syrian border, as it took part in the Kremlin’s air campaign against militants in Syria.

“We met with the head of the Turkish foreign ministry on his insistent request. We heard nothing new,” Lavrov told a televised news conference.

He said Russia had reiterated its own position during the meeting with Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on the sidelines of a conference of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in the Serbian capital Belgrade.

A combination picture taken from a video shows a war plane crashing in flames, in a mountainous area in northern Syria after it was shot down by Turkish fighter jets near the Turkish-Syrian border. (Reuters Photo)

Russian President Vladimir Putin branded the incident a war crime on Thursday and said Turkey would face further sanctions. Moscow has already banned some Turkish food imports as part of a wider package of retaliatory sanctions.

‘Unrealistic’ to solve problems

Turkey said the Russian jet violated its airspace and that it was repeatedly warned, something Russia has denied.

Turkey foreign minister Cavusoglu was quoted by Turkish state broadcaster TRT as saying it would be unrealistic to expect all problems to be solved with Russia after a single meeting, but that it was important to keep communication channels open.

Cavusoglu told the OSCE conference: “The incident on the 24th of November ... should not be confused with our fighting against our common enemy of Daesh, terrorism and should not be abused for political objectives.”

Daesh is an Arabic term for the Islamic State jihadist group, which has seized swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq.

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