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November 24, 2015
Translated from Russian by Tom Winter
NATO could find no words of condolence over the death of Russian soldiers during the incident with the Russian aircraft shot down by Turkey, said Russia’s permanent representative to NATO Alexander Grushko.
“Today’s meeting of the NATO Council could have been a moment of truth for NATO – after all, one of their key allies shot down a Russian aircraft that was taking part in the international efforts to combat terrorism. However, the moment of truth did not happen,” said Grushko, commenting on the results of the extraordinary meeting of the North Atlantic Council meeting on the initiative of Turkey, RIA Novosti reported.
He noted that there is in “the statement of the Secretary General of NATO no hint of condemnation of the Turkish attack on our plane, which did not present and could not present any threat to the security of Turkey and was in Syrian airspace.”
“They could not find words of sympathy and regret over the death of Russian soldiers doing their duty in the fight against terrorism. Instead, again, there are sermons on the alleged dangerous military activities of the Aerospace forces of Russia.” – said Grushko.
At the end of an extraordinary meeting of the North Atlantic Alliance, in which Turkey had informed the Allies about the incident with the Russian aircraft, the NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg made a statement on its behalf, calling for calm and de-escalation. He said that he awaits further contacts between Ankara and Moscow, and stressed the need to conclude and implement agreements on the prevention of similar incidents in the future. The Secretary General said that the information about the incident received from NATO allies, was the same as represented by Turkey. He recalled that previously expressed concern about the consequences of Russian military operations near the border with NATO, and the alliance has repeatedly expressed solidarity with Turkey.
On Tuesday, the Russian Su-24 crashed in Syria. Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the plane was shot down by an air-to-air rocket from the Turkish F-16s over the Syrian territory in Syria, and fell four kilometers from the border with Turkey. The Russian president called it a “stab in the back” by the accomplices of terrorists. General Staff of the Russian Federation said that the Su-24 did not cross the border with Turkey and this is confirmed by Syrian air defense. Turkey argues that the Russian aircraft entered its airspace.