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Russia backs proposal to close Turkish-Syrian border: Lavrov

Sputnik/ Valeriy Melnikov

 

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has addressed journalists following the downing of the Russian Su-24 jet by an air-to-air missile launched from a Turkish F-16, Sputnik News reports.

The Russian minister held a phone conversation with his Turkish counterpart earlier in the day.

“Moscow is not avoiding contacts with Ankara — my phone conversation with the Turkish FM is a proof,” Lavrov said.

Turkey’s foreign minister expressed his sincere condolences to Sergei Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister said. But the Turkish minister tried to excuse the incident, Lavrov added.

The Turkish minister said that Turkey did not know it was a Russian jet.

“We have serious doubts it was an accident and prepared footage of the jet downing suggests it wasn’t,” Sergei Lavrov said. “It all looks like a planned provocation”.

“Let me remind you, Russian warplanes were in Syrian airspace. But even if a Russian jet crosses into Turkish airspace serious questions arise as to why Turkey did not use the emergency communication line with Russia before or after downing the Su-24 bomber jet,” the Russian Foreign Minister added.

“I reminded him [Turkish foreign minister] that on Russia’s initiative a hotline between the Russian National Defense Control Center and the Turkish Defense Ministry was established. The line was established at the beginning of the Russian Aerospace Forces operation in Syria, and was used neither yesterday nor before that, which provokes serious questions,” Lavrov told the press.

Ankara has stated it was unaware that the aircraft belonged to Russia.

Russia is still expecting apology from Turkey over the downing of the Russian Su-24 bomber jet over Syria.

“We’re not going to wage a war against Turkey,” Sergei Lavrov said answering a question from a journalist.

According to the Russian foreign minister, “the attitude toward Turkish people has not changed.”

“We have questions only to the current Turkish government,” Lavrov noted.

But Russia will seriously reassess all agreements with Turkey, he added. As for specific measures, we’ve recommended our citizens not to travel to Turkey, Lavrov said.

“In regard to the current level of our relations and agreements that we have concluded with the Turkish government currently in force in Ankara, as the [Russian] president has said, we will seriously reassess and review everything that is going on in our relations taking into count the attack that was delivered against our airplane,” Lavrov said at a press conference.

Too many indicators showing terrorist threats have appeared on Turkish soil, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday.

“We cannot leave everything that has happened without a reaction not because we have to respond somehow, that’s not it. Actually there have been too many indicators on Turkish soil that show a direct terrorist threat to our citizens,” Lavrov said at a press conference.

Russia may raise the issue in the UN Security Council of developing an overall understanding on the fight against channels of equipping and financing militants in Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday.

Moscow backs the proposal of French President Francois Hollande to close the Turkish-Syrian border, Sergei Lavrov said.

“I think this is the right desicion. I hope President Hollande will tell us more about the issue tommorow. We would be ready to consider all measures that needed for this closing the border. By closing the border we will basically thwart the terrorist threat in Syria,” the minister said.

Earlier Russia’s top diplomat cancelled his visit to Turkey after a Russian Su-24 jet was downed over Syria.

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