“Warning of serious consequences,” Putin said, “Russia will never tolerate such atrocities and hope the global community will find the strength to join forces and fight this evil.”
Putin, who has a reputation for speaking in measured tones and not given to rash outbursts, has never seemed as furious as he was, following Turkey’s shooting down of a Russian military jet over Syria.
“We stand in solidarity with Turkey and support the territorial integrity of our NATO ally, Turkey,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told a news conference, after meeting the alliance’s decision-making North Atlantic Council, convened at Turkey’s request.
He called for “calm de-escalation”, and renewed contacts between Moscow and Ankara.
Turkey said, two SU-24 planes ignored several warnings given by Turkey, that they were trespassing into Turkish airspace.
Turkey, in a letter to UNSC, and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, said, the planes violated Turkish airspace despite several warnings, and it had no option but to shoot them down.
Meanwhile, a United States defense official in Washington, said, the Russian fighter jet did enter Turkish airspace. The official said, the Russian plane flew across a 2-mile section of Turkish airspace, meaning it violated Turkish airspace if only for a matter of seconds.
Turkey and Russia have been at odds over the Syrian crisis; Turkey has been seeking the ouster of President Basher Assad, who is an important Russian ally.
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, insisted, Turkey has the right to take “the steps it deems necessary” against border or airspace violations. He appealed to the international community to work toward snuffing out the fire burning in Syria.
Meanwhile, the Turkish Foreign Ministry informed diplomats from the five UN Security Council member countries of the incident. A Russian diplomat was separately called in for a meeting during which Turkey conveyed its sensitivities over violations.
Despite the exchange of harsh words between Russia and Turkey, analysts believe the two countries have reasons of their own, not to let the incident go out of hand.