Turkey Has Sabotaged Any Opportunity for Constructive Dialogue on Syria

MOSCOW, December 16. /TASS/. Turkey has shut down the window of opportunity for a constructive dialogue on Syria, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova told a news briefing on Wednesday.

“Our stance [on Syria] has not changed before, during or after the incident with the Russian bomber,” she said. “We had different opinions over a number of regional issues with Turkey, but we maintained interaction with the Turkish counterparts in attempts to narrow differences.”

“One of the effects of that incident [involving Russia’s Sukhoi-24 plane] was we have started open discussions with Turkey along the Syrian settlement track,” Zakharova said. “Before, we were saying everything outright, but behind closed doors, acting in a way a partner should do. But after what we’ve seen – after the shooting down of the Sukhoi-24 and after Ankara’s terrible rhetoric – Turkey has shut the window of opportunity for a constructive dialogue.”

Turkey Refuses to Pay Compensation for Downing Russian Warplane

MOSCOW, December 16. /TASS/. Turkey has slammed the door on relations with Russia, refusing to compensate for shooting down the Su-24 bomber and so Russia should respond by imposing overwhelming restrictive measures, the deputy chairman of the Federation Council (parliamentary upper house) committee for defense and security, Frants Klintsevich told reporters on Wednesday.

“The door of relations with Turkey, which we were leaving half open, has banged shut. And Turkey did slam it shut,” Klintsevich said noting this twist of events was predictable.

“To my mind, each has to understand that Turkey will not pay damage for downing of the Russian aircraft as well as for its own steps and it will be hopeless and even humiliating for Russia to keep negotiating on the issue,” the Russian lawmaker said.

“The Rubicon has been crossed” between Moscow and Ankara, Klintsevich said.

“We cannot be satisfied with half-steps,” he went on to say. “We should respond by imposing considerable and (I will underscore it) overwhelming restrictive measures on Turkey.”

Earlier in the day, following Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexey Meshkov’s recent remarks that Russia was expecting guarantees from Turkey that no incident like the one with the Su-24 bomber would happen in the future, Tanju Bilgic, the spokesman for the Turkish Foreign Ministry, said that it was impossible to meet Russia’s demands.

“If the Russian Federation also guarantees that there will not be any airspace violations, a similar incident will not happen again,” Bilgic said.
The downing of Russian Su-24 bomber by Turkey

Relations between Russia and Turkey have been locked in a spat over the downing of a Russian Su-24M bomber by the Turkish Air Force’s fighter jet on November 24. Ankara claims the bomber violated the Turkish air space in the area bordering on Syria. However, Russia’s Defence Ministry said the Su-24M plane stayed exclusively over the Syrian territory and “there was no violation of the Turkish air space.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that Turkey’s attack will have “serious consequences” for the two countries’ relations. Putin said Ankara’s attack against the Russian plane, which took part in Russia’s antiterrorism operation in Syria and did not present a threat to Turkey, was a “stab in Russia’s back” delivered by terrorists’ accomplices.