The Foreign Minister of Turkey, Mevlut Cavusoglu has on Thursday, November 26, vowed that Ankara would not apologise to Moscow over the downing of a warplane on the Syrian border.
“We don’t need to apologise on an occasion that we are right,” Cavusoglu said.
“But we said on the phone yesterday (Wednesday) that we are sorry,” he added, referring to a telephone conversation with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.
Meanwhile, Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, accused the Turks of a “planned provocation” that would cause Moscow to “seriously reassess” relations with Ankara.
“We have no intention to go to war with Turkey,” Mr Lavrov said at a televised briefing. “Yet we can’t but react to what has happened.”
Russian President, Vladirmir Putin said:
“Today’s loss was a stab in the back by the accomplices of terrorists. Our pilots and our aircraft never threatened the territory of Turkey. That much is obvious.”
He accused Turkey of backing ISIS and trying to drag Nato into the conflict alongside Islamist extremists.
Despite yesterday’s furore, Russia has vowed this morning that it will continue to launch airstrikes along the Turkish border, writes Louisa Loveluck.
“We would like for the terrorists and militants to keep further away from the Turkish border, but unfortunately they tend to be situated on the Syrian territory close to the Turkish border,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. “(Russia’s) operations will continue without doubt.”
In the meantime, at a meeting of NATO’s North Atlantic Council in Brussels, diplomats condemned Russian incursions but said Turkey should have escorted the Russian warplane from its airspace. “There are other ways of dealing with these kinds of incidents,” one unnamed diplomat told Reuters.