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No contacts between Putin, Erdogan after Su-24 downing — Kremlin

November 25, 2015, 13:39 UTC+3
A Russian warplane involved in the antii-terrorist operation in Syria was shot down by the Turkish Air Firce on Tuesday which caused a hike in international tension
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Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan

© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

NIZHNY TAGIL, November 25. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin had no contacts with Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan after the downing of the Su-24 bomber, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday.

"I can only say there have been no top-level contacts so far," he said adding there no dialogue was maintained with Turkey at the moment.

Peskov’s words follow the downing of a Russian Su-24 bomber by a Turkish F-16 fighter jet on Tuesday morning. Ankara claims the Russian warplane had violated Turkey’s air space while the Russian Defense Ministry says the Su-24 was flying above Syria.

Russia questions anti-terror cooperation with Turkey

The spokesman said Russia’s cooperation with Turkey in combating terrorism has now been called into question, but this does not apply to other countries members of the possible coalition against terrorist groups in Syria

According to the Kremlin official, the Russian leader has repeatedly said that the fight against terrorism in Syrian cannot be effective without creation of a united coalition. "As for Turkey, interaction with it can certainly be called into question, at least at the current stage. However, this is not so regarding the other coalition members," Peskov said.

As for the influence of the incident with the Su-24 plane on the formation of a coalition with the West, the Kremlin official said that "this question perhaps should be addressed to our possible partners in the coalition. Their assessment of what has happened is important," Peskov said.

Asked about the state of the dialogue with Turkey at this stage, the Kremlin spokesman replied that "there is no dialogue at all now."

"I can only say that no contacts at the highest level have been made yet," he said, answering a question if the Turkish side has contacted the Kremlin.

Russia to continue operation in Syria and areas close to Turkish border 

Peskov said Russia will continue its anti-terrorist operation in Syria, including in areas close to the Turkish border.

"Undoubtedly," the presidential spokesman said in reply to a question about whether Russia would continue its anti-terrorist operation close to the Turkish border.

The Kremlin spokesman said that Russia was carrying out the operation "in strict compliance with international law and, in this case, in strict compliance with the official request from the legitimate leadership of the Syrian Arab Republic."

"There is no such a notion as ‘farther from the Turkish border.’ There is the notion of ‘the Syrian air space," Peskov said.

‘It would be very good, if terrorists and gunmen stayed farther from the Turkish border but, unfortunately, they tend to stay on the territory of Syria close to the Turkish border," the Kremlin spokesman said.

Russia’s Su-24M bomber was shot down on Tuesday by an air-to-air missile fired by an F-16 fighter jet of the Turkish Air Force. One pilot was killed while the other was rescued and taken to the Russian air base. During the operation to rescue the pilot, a Mi-8 helicopter was damaged by gunfire and a soldier was killed.

Turkey claims that the downed Russian combat plane violated Turkey’s air space. However, the Russian Defense Ministry has said that the Su-24M flew over Syria and the air space was violated by the Turkish plane that attacked Russia’s bomber.

The Russian General Staff has warned that Russia will destroy all potentially dangerous targets over Syria and announced about the plans to move the missile cruiser Moskva with the Fort missile system equivalent to the S-300 antiaircraft missile complex to the Syrian coast.

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