Yesterday’s downing of a Russian SU-24 jet by two Turkish F-16-that according to President Recept Tayyip Erdogan violated Turkish airspace-will surely worsen relations between Russia and Turkey and could have consequences in the international arena.
President Vladimir Putin defined the downing of the Russian jet “a stab in the back”, clearly underlying that the aircraft was flying at 1 kilometer away from the Turkish border. Later the Russian Ministry of Defence released data confirming that the aircraft, which took off from the airbase in Latakia, did not crossed the Turkish border.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev described the fact as a “reckless criminal act”, explaining that this will have three main consequences. First of all relations between Russia and NATO will be undermined, since Turkey is a member of the international organization, which already expressed its solidarity to Turkey. Secondly, according to the Russian Prime Minister Turkey has demonstrated to “protect” the ISIL and holds economic interests in cheap oil supplies, coming from the Islamic State. Thirdly, relations between Russia and Turkey will be seriously damaged, both on the humanitarian and economic side, and “its immediate consequences could turn into the refusal of a range of important joint projects and the loss of positions by Turkish companies on the Russian market”, stated Medvedev.
The Russian Ambassador to France Alexander Orlov stated that one of the pilots was rescued by the Syrian military forces, while the Russian Minister of Defence Sergey Shoigu added that he is now safe at the Hmeymim airbase. The second pilot was killed after ejecting the aircraft from ground shots by Turcomen forces. Today President Putin signed a decree to award the pilots, one posthumously, and the naval infantry soldier killed during the rescue operation.
Moreover the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov answering to journalists’ questions, reported the conversation he had with the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, who made his condolences bud did not justify the incident. Lavrov continued stating that ” We have serious doubts it was an accident and prepared footage of the jet downing suggests it wasn’t”, adding that “It all looked like a planned provocation”.
Isabella MILAN ALBERTIN