All military contacts with Turkey have been cut following the downing of Russia’s Su-24 military jet, the Russian Defense Ministry said Thursday
“Today, in accordance with a previously made decision, all cooperation channels have been cut between the Russian Defense Ministry and the Turkish Armed Forces,” ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov told reporters.
“This concerns all ties, not just the so-called ho tline that was launched in order to avoid possible air incidents during the destruction of terrorist infrastructure in Syria,” he added.
The decision has been made after Turkish fighter jets on Tuesday had shot down a Russian Su-24 bomber, which had been taking part in Russia’s anti-terror campaign in Syria.
Ankara claims it downed the Russian plane because it violated Turkish airspace. Contrary to Turkey’s allegations, the Russian General Staff and the Syrian Air Defense Command confirmed that the Su-24 never crossed into Turkish airspace, citing precise objective control data.
Putin warns Turkey of ‘serious consequences’
Russian President Vladimir Putin described the incident as a “stab in the back, carried out against us by accomplices of terrorists.”
Following the downing of the Su-24 bomber, the Russian Foreign Ministry stated that the incident would negatively affect all aspects of relations between Moscow and Ankara and recommended Russians to refrain from visiting Turkey. Cooperation in the tourism industry between Moscow and Ankara may be stopped, the Russian Federal Tourism Agency said.
Russia may also restrict or even ban Turkish vessels and aircraft from entering Russian ports and airspace, according to Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev.
Putin also accuses America of being complicit in the attack
He told a press conference yesterday: ‘The American side, which leads the coalition that Turkey belongs to, knew about the location and time of our planes’ flights, and we were hit exactly there and at that time.
‘Why did we pass this information to the Americans? Either they were not controlling what their allies were doing, or they are leaking this information all over the place.’
Ahead of the conference, Putin and Erdogan traded barbs, with the Russian leader saying he was waiting for an apology and Erdogan ruling out any such move.
Putin has dismissed as ‘rubbish’ Turkey’s claim that it would not have shot down the jet if it had known it was Russian.
‘They [our planes] have identification signs and these are well visible. Instead of… ensuring this never happens again, we are hearing unintelligible explanations and statements that there is nothing to apologise about.’