NATO warns Russia to fully respect allies' airspace

NATO warns Russia to fully respect its airspace after Russian fighter jet violates Turkish airspace once again

Photo by: NATO
Photo by: NATO

Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at a NATO Press conference following the launch of his Annual Report for 2015.

Updated Feb 18, 2016

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has called on the Russian Federation to fully respect NATO airspace and to take all necessary measures to ensure violations will not happen again.

"I call on Russia to act responsibly and to fully respect NATO airspace. Russia must take all necessary measures to ensure that such violations do not happen again," said Stoltenberg.

Turkey said on Saturday a Russian Sukhoi Su-34 fighter jet violated its airspace on Friday at 1146 hours local time.

Turkey said that before the violation actually took place the Russian plane was warned numerous times by Turkish air radar units in both the English and Russian languages.

Stoltenberg in his statement said previous incidents have shown how dangerous such behaviour is.

The secretary-general also said that NATO stands in solidarity with Turkey and support the territorial integrity of its allied member.

"Allies agreed in December to increase the presence of AWACS early warning aircraft over Turkey, as we continue to augment Turkey’s air defences," he said.

"I welcome the direct contacts between Ankara and Moscow, and I call for calm and de-escalation," said Stoltenberg.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he wanted to meet with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin after the incident but Russia hasn’t responded yet.

"I told our foreign ministry to convey my desire to meet Mr Putin personally. There has been no answer on this yet," Erdogan told reporters at Ataturk airport in Istanbul before departing for a visit to Latin America.

Tensions between Turkey and Russia rose after a Russian Su-24 fighter jet was downed after violating Turkish airspace near the Syrian border on November 24.

TRTWorld and agencies