Putin attacks Turkey in annual press conference

Russian President Vladimir Puting uses obscene phrase while accusing Turkey of attempting to curry favour with US by shooting down Russian warplane

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his annual end-of-year news conference in Moscow, Russia, December 17, 2015.

Updated Dec 18, 2015

During his annual press conference on Thursday Russian President Vladimir Putin used crude language to suggest Turkey tried to gain the favour of the US Government by shooting down a Russian warplane last month.

The Russian Sukhoi SU-24 fighter was shot down by Turkish jets for violating Turkish airspace despite several warnings on Nov. 24.

The incident caused a political crisis between the two countries, which had strong economic ties, and has led Turkish and Russian leaders to issue warnings to one another.

Putin harshly criticised Turkish authorities once again on Thursday in a speech implying that Turkey downed the warplane only to please US officials.

Putin said, "They [Turkish authorities] thought that we would turn tail and run! No, Russia is not that country. We have increased our presence in Syria, have increased the number of combat aircrafts deployed there. There was no Russian air defense system there – now there's the S-400. Turkey constantly violated Syrian airspace before, let them try it now."

Putin added that "It is hard to reach an agreement with Turkey" and he sees "no hope for restoring relations" with the country.

Moscow's Deputy Foreign Minister Alexey Meshkov said on Wednesday that Turkey should pay compensation for shooting down the plane.

Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesman Tanju Bilgic responded by saying that "It is not possible to meet Russia’s demand for compensation as the warplane undertook the violation despite several warnings."

The plane violated Turkish airspace though it had been warned 10 times in five minutes to turn back.

The Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) earlier released radar data of the incident which indicated the downed warplane violated Turkish airspace over the country’s Hatay province near its Syrian border.

TRTWorld and agencies