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Russia, Turkey should jointly punish those behind Su-24 jet downing — Kazakh leader

Moscow and Ankara should carry out a joint investigation into the downing of Russian warplane last week and restore bilateral relations, Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev said in his address to the nation on Monday.

"Whatever it takes, I believe this commission needs to be created jointly and be concluded quickly, and those guilty should be found and punished. Mistakes should be admitted and ties should be restored. I call on our Russian and Turkish friends to do this," Nazarbayev said.

Kazakhstan deeply regrets that this incident has occurred between Russia and Turkey, Nazarbayev said. "The fact is that the Russian bomber did not attack Turkey."

Russia and Turkey "need to find common ground and should not upset relations that have been built for many years," he said.

The Turkish Air Force's F-16 fighter on November 24 shot down a Russian Sukhoi Su-24M bomber, involved in an antiterrorism operation in Syria, that Ankara claims violated the country's airspace on the border with Syria.

The Su-24M crew ejected but one of the two pilots was killed by fire from the ground. The second pilot was rescued as a result of a 12-hour operation. During evacuation of the Su-24M crew, a Mi-8 helicopter was lost and a contract marine was killed.

Russia's Defense Ministry said the Su-24M was above Syrian territory and "there was no violation of Turkey's airspace." It said the Turkish Air Force fighter violated Syria's airspace.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that Turkey's attack will have "serious consequences" for Russian-Turkish relations. Putin said Ankara's attack against the Russian Sukhoi Su-24 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.

[Source: Itar Tass, Astana, 30Nov15]

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