Russia will not wage war against Turkey, Lavrov says

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announces Russia will not start war against Turkey over downing of its warplane

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday that Russia will not wage war against Turkey after its warplane was shot down near the Turkish border in Syria by Turkish F-16.

Lavrov also stated Russia investigated the incident and that Moscow will start to "seriously reconsider" its bilateral relations with Ankara.

There were not any plans to send Russian officials to Turkey and also Moscow did not plan to accept any Turkish officials in Russia, Lavrov said.

A Turkish foreign ministry spokesman claimed on Wednesday that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and his counterpart Lavrov had agreed to come together in the next days. But this statement later was denied by Moscow.

On Tuesday, Turkish authorities shot down a Russian fighter jet over Syria, stating that it had violated Turkish airspace. However, Russia has claimed that no violation took place and considers such an act as 'a stab in the back' and direct assistance to terrorist forces in Syria.

The Russian jet had reportedly entered Turkish airspace over the southern border province of Hatay for a total of 17 seconds, despite being warned 10 times in five minutes before being downed.

Russian President Vladimir Putin described the incident as a “stab in the back” and warned Turkey of "serious consequences".

“The reckless and criminal actions of the Turkish authorities… have caused a dangerous escalation of relations between Russia and NATO, which cannot be justified by any interest, including protection of state borders,” Russian Prime Minister Dimitry Medvedev said.

Medvedev added that Russia is contemplating cancelling a number of important projects with Turkey and barring Turkish companies from the Russian market.

Russia has been carrying out air strikes in Syria since Sept. 30 in an effort to prop up the embattled regime of Bashar al-Assad, under the guise that it is targeting the DAESH terrorist group.

However, Turkey and the US have raised concerns that the air strikes have been mainly targeting moderate Syrian opposition groups fighting against the Assad regime.

Among these moderate opposition groups include Turkmen brigades that are backed by Turkey in the Bayir-Bucak region of Syria’s coastal Latakia province, south of Turkey’s bordering Hatay province.

TRTWorld and agencies