Turkey warns its patience with Russia ‘has a limit’ after Putin warship fired warning shots at fishing vessel
- Ankara accuses Moscow of ‘exaggerated’ reaction to naval confrontation
- Russian destroyer fired warning shots at fishing vessel to avoid collision
- Turkish minister accused Putin of using Syrian strikes to prop up Assad
- See full news coverage on Russia at www.dailymail.co.uk/russia
Turkey has warned its patience with Russia ‘has a limit’ after Moscow’s ‘exaggerated’ reaction to a weekend naval incident between the two countries.
A Russian destroyer fired warning shots at a Turkish vessel in the Aegean on Sunday to avoid a collision and summoned the Turkish military attache over the incident.
‘Ours was only a fishing boat, it seems to me that the reaction of the Russian naval ship was exaggerated,’ Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said.
‘Russia and Turkey certainly have to re-establish the relations of trust that we have always had, but our patience has a limit.’
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Russian destroyer Smetlivy, pictured, fired on a Turkish fishing ship when it ‘ignored warnings’ to avoid it
Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu accused Moscow of an ‘exaggerated’ reaction after one of its warship fired warning shots at fishing vessel
The incident is likely to heighten tensions between the two nations who are at odds over Syria and Turkey’s downing of a Russian warplane last month.
Cavusoglu said Russia had already ‘put itself in a ridiculous position’ with accusations by President Vladimir Putin that Turkey had shot down the jet to protect oil supplies from ISIS.
He also criticised Russia’s military intervention in Syria, saying it was aimed at propping up the regime of President Bashar Al Assad, not combating ISIS.
‘Unfortunately Russia is not in Syria to fight terrorists,’ he said, adding that only 8 per cent of its air strikes had been aimed at ISIS while 92 per cent were against other groups hostile to Assad.
It comes less than a month after a Russian military jet, pictured, was shot down by the Turkish air force
Russian President Putin, pictured, has said Russia’s military will be able to ‘immediately destroy’ any threat
Cavusoglu also said air strikes were not sufficient to defeat Islamic State and soldiers on the ground were necessary, according to the interview.
On Friday, Putin vowed to further modernize Russian arsenals and warned that his military forces in Syria would ‘immediately destroy’ any target threatening them – a strong warning to Turkey.
Speaking at a meeting with the top military brass, Putin named ‘strengthening of the combat potential of strategic nuclear forces and the implementation of space defence programs’ as a key priority.
Without naming Turkey, the hardline president said the military should respond in full force to any ‘further provocation’.
He said the Russian military base in Syria has been beefed up with additional aircraft and air defence weapons.
‘I order you to act in the toughest way,’ Putin said.
‘Any targets threatening the Russian groups of forces or our land infrastructure should be immediately destroyed.’
The naval incident occurred around 14 miles off the coast of Greek island Lemnos, pictured