Russia ends accord with Turkish military after warplane shot down

Russia’s defence ministry said it has suspended all cooperation with the Turkish military, including a hotline set up to share information about Russian air strikes in Syria, TASS news agency reported.
Russia ends accord with Turkish military after warplane shot down

Earlier, Russia threatened economic retaliation against Turkey and said it was still awaiting a reasonable explanation for the shooting down of its warplane, but Turkey dismissed the threats as “emotional” and “unfitting”.

Turkey’s president Tayyip Erdogan responded to Russian accusations that Turkey has been buying oil and gas from Islamic State in Syria by accusing Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and his backers, which include Moscow, of being the real source of the group’s financial and military power.

The shooting down of the jet by the Turkish air force on Tuesday was one of the most serious clashes between a Nato member and Russia.

Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev ordered his government to draw up measures that would include freezing some joint investment projects and restricting food imports from Turkey.

Economy minister Alexei Ulyukayev said Moscow could put limits on flights to and from Turkey, halt preparations for a joint free trade zone, and restrict high-profile projects including the TurkStream gas pipeline and a $20bn nuclear power plant Russia is building in Turkey.

Erdogan said in Ankara: “We are strategic partners... ‘Joint projects may be halted, ties could be cut’? Are such approaches fitting for politicians?

“First the politicians and our militaries should sit down and talk about where errors were made and then focus on overcoming those errors on both sides.

“But instead, if we make emotional statements like this, that wouldn’t be right.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russia was still awaiting a reasonable answer from Ankara on why it downed the fighter jet.

Moscow insists it never left Syrian air space, but Ankara says it crossed the border despite repeated warnings.

Erdogan said the jet was shot down as an “automatic reaction” to the violation of Turkish air space, in line with standing orders given to the military.

Those instructions were a separate issue to disagreements with Russia over Syria policy, he said, adding Ankara would continue to support moderate rebels in Syria and Turkmen fighters battling Assad’s forces.

He told CNN Russia, not Turkey, should be the one to apologise for the incident.

Vladimir Putin has complained that he has received neither an apology from Turkey nor an offer “to make up for the damages” .

His remarks came after Turkey released audio recordings of what it says are the Turkish military’s repeated warnings to the pilot before the jet was shot down.

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