Turkey warns Russia of ‘grave consequences’ for violating its airspace


Turkish foreign ministry on Saturday claimed that a Russian fighter jet had crossed its airspace ignoring several warnings made in Russian and English.

It said that Moscow will ‘face consequences’ if such violations continue.

A Turkish foreign ministry statement said that the Russian jet had entered its airspace bordering Syria, where Russia has been conducting airstrikes since September last year.

The statement said, “We are making a clear call to the Russian Federation not to violate Turkish airspace, which is also NATO airspace.”

It said the ministry had summoned the Russian ambassador in Ankara to “strongly protest at and condemn” the incident, reported BBC.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued stern warnings to Russia saying that Moscow would “have to face consequences if it keeps up such violations.”

He told reporters, “Such irresponsible steps do not benefit either the Russian Federation, or Russia-Nato relations, or regional and global peace.”

Russia has rubbished the claims calling it a ‘baseless propaganda.’

“The Turkish declarations concerning the alleged violation of its airspace by a Russian Su-34 are baseless propaganda,” spokesman Igor Konashenkov told Russian news agencies.

The tension between the two countries has been high since 24 November, when the Turkish F-16s shot down a Russian SU-24 saying that it had intruded into its airspace and ignored repeated warnings to leave.

Russia had denied claims of intrusion and instead announced several sanctions against Turkey. The sanctions against Turkey include ban on the import of Turkish foods, the sale of charter holidays for Russians to Turkey and most construction projects with Turkish firms. According to an estimate these economic measures are expected to cost Turkish economy at least $10 billion.