Turkey will not apologise for downing a Russian fighter jet on the Syrian border, but Moscow need to reconsider retaliatory sanctions, Turkish prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu says.
“Protection of our airspace, our border is not only a right but a duty for my government and no Turkish premier or president … will apologise [for] undertaking our duty,” Mr Davutoglu told a joint press conference with NATO head Jens Stoltenberg at the alliance’s headquarters.
Mr Davutoglu added that “we hope Russia will reconsider these measures in both our interests”, referring to the sanctions that Moscow imposed right after the shooting down of the jet last week.
“If the Russian side wants to speak, we are ready if they want much more information, we are ready if they want to normalise relations, we are prepared to speak,” he said.
Mr Davutoglu made the announcement right after Russian president Vladimir Putin rejected an invitation to meet his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of the Paris worldwide climate conference.
Mr Erdogan had known as for face-to-face talks with Mr Putin as Moscow and Ankara trade furious charge and counter-charge more than who was responsible for downing the plane.
Russia’s government on Monday laid out a lot more specifics of retaliatory financial sanctions aimed at denting Turkey’s important tourism and agricultural sectors as Ankara said that it had returned the physique of the pilot to Russia.
Moscow announced it will halt fruit and vegetable imports from Turkey soon after Mr Putin signed a decree over the weekend banning charter flights and the sale of package holidays, and scrapping Russia’s visa-free of charge regime with the country.
Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev called the moves a “initial step” as Moscow also stated it would limit Turkish transport firms and tighten controls on construction contracts.
NATO chief Stoltenberg said that while Turkey had each appropriate to defend its airspace, the concentrate now had to be on avoiding any escalation as the allies attempt to forge a frequent front — possibly which includes Russia — against Islamic State (IS) jihadist fighters in Syria and Iraq in the wake of the Paris attacks.
“I welcome Turkish efforts to establish contacts with Russia to de-escalate … it is crucial to stay calm,” Mr Stoltenberg said.
“I urge Russia to play a constructive function in Syria by targeting IS, our widespread enemy,” he added, referring to criticisms by Western nations that Russia has been targeting non-IS opposition forces in Syria.
Topics: unrest-conflict-and-war, planet-politics, government-and-politics, turkey, syrian-arab-republic, russian-federation