MOSCOW, Turkey should compensate Russia for the November downing of a Russian fighter plane, Russian deputy Foreign Minister Alexei Meshkov said Wednesday.
His comments to the state-run RIA Novosti news agency continued a battle of wordswhich have eroded relations between Turkey and Russia since the Su-24 military plane was shot down near Turkey’s border with Syria after it violated Turkish airspace.
“Instead of continuing to deny their responsibility for the incident and denigrate Russia’s legitimate actions in Syria, they should at least do what is provided by international legal standards: apologize, pay for the damages and provide guarantees that this will not happen again in the future. The current line maintained by Turkish authorities does not allow for positive forecasts, both in terms of their complete unwillingness to acknowledge the responsibility for an unprovoked attack on a Russian Su-24, as well as in terms of getting rid of double standards in the fight against international terrorism,” Meshkov said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin referred to the incident as a “stab in the back,” and imposed economic sanctions on Turkey, a ban on activities of Turkish organizations in Russia and an embargo on hiring Turkish citizens. The Russian navy fired on a Turkish fishing vessel in the Aegean Sea Sunday, after which Russia warned Turkey to stop staging provocations against the Russian military.
Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgic accused Russia of overstressing the two countries’ disputes, saying Wednesday that “Russia’s military elements have been acting for some time as if there is a perceived threat from Turkey, which is an exaggerated situation and has nothing to do with reality. Turkey is not acting in an aggressive way toward Russia’s military targets and our main hope is not to escalate tensions.”
By Ed Adamczyk