Russia: Jet Downing Was 'Planned Provocation'

But Russia won't go to war with Turkey, says minister
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 25, 2015 9:47 AM CST
Russia: Jet Downing Was 'Planned Provocation'
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov listens during a news conference in Vienna, Austria, Friday, Oct. 30, 2015.   (Brendan Smialowski/Pool via AP)

Russia's foreign minister says the country isn't about to go to war with Turkey, but adds that the downing of a Russian warplane on Tuesday "looks very much like a pre-planned provocation," per Politico. "We have serious doubts this was an unintended incident." The sharp words from Sergei Lavrov came after he spoke with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavusoglu. Lavrov adds that "very strange sentiments" followed Tuesday's NATO meeting in Brussels, "which didn't express any regret or condolences and in effect were aimed at covering up what the Turkish Air Force did." NATO's secretary-general says intelligence reports back up Turkey's claim that the plane was flying in Turkish airspace when it was brought down. A US military rep adds that "we were able to hear everything that was going on," including 10 warnings issued to the Russian pilots, per the Washington Post.

A Turkish official tells the New York Times that Moscow shouldn't be surprised at what happened. “I personally was expecting something like this, because in the past months there have been so many incidents like that,” says the undersecretary of defense. “Our engagement rules were very clear, and any sovereign nation has a right to defend its airspace.” Russian officials have proposed canceling a proposed gas pipeline to Turkey and a ban on Turkish airlines in the aftermath, but so far have only told Russian citizens to avoid Turkey. Russia also plans to send S-400 anti-missile systems to its airbase in northwestern Syria—a move that could further hamper the US-led coalition's moves against ISIS. (Russia says one of the two pilots was rescued.)

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