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Turkey's Erdogan warns Russia of "consequences" over repeated airspace violations, Russia rejects

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday warned Russia of "consequences" if it continues to violate Turkish airspace.

"If Russia continues to violate Turkey's sovereignty, it will have to face the consequences," Erdogan told reporters in Istanbul before leaving for a visit to Chile.

He blamed Russia for acting "irresponsibly" and escalating the tension in the region, while emphasizing that the issue was closely followed by NATO.

"These kinds of irresponsible acts not only damage NATO-Russian relations but also the regional and global peace," the president stressed, as his country is a NATO member.

Erdogan said that he hoped to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin but to no avail.

Earlier, Turkish foreign ministry said it summoned Russian ambassador to Ankara late Friday after it claimed that Russia's SU-34 violated Turkey's airspace.

In a written statement, the ministry said Turkish air force warned the Russian aircraft several times on Friday in Russian and English, adding that the violation is also a new and concrete indicator of Moscow's actions which aims at "accelerating problems despite open warnings by our country and by NATO."

The ministry has urged Russia "not to violate Turkish airspace, which is NATO airspace. We underline that such actions could lead to serious consequence," said the statement.

"We once more underline that unwanted serious developments as outcome of this kind of irresponsible acts will be on Russian Federation's liability," added the statement.

The ministry said all these arguments were conveyed to the Russian ambassador.

In Moscow on Saturday, Russian defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov dismissed Turkey's accusations as "baseless propaganda," saying that there has not been a single violation of Turkish airspace by Russia air force planes in Syria.

Turkish air force shot down the Russian jet on Nov. 24 claiming it has violated Turkish airspace, whereas Moscow insisted the Su-24 stayed over Syria during its flight.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has demanded an apology from the Turkish leadership and a compensation for the damage. Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has ordered economic sanctions against Turkey.

[Source: Xinhua, Istanbul and Ankara, 30Jan16]

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small logoThis document has been published on 01Feb16 by the Equipo Nizkor and Derechos Human Rights. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.