The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the Russian president’s criticism of his country’s downing of a Russian warplane on Tuesday is “unacceptable”.
He also warned Vladimir Putin not to “play with fire” over the incident, in a speech on the state run television, but at the same time insisted that Turkey did not want to damage its relationship with Russia.
The Turkish president said he hoped to meet Mr Putin on the sidelines of the climate summit in Paris next week.
– I would like to meet [Mr Putin] face-to-face in Paris, he said.
– I would like to bring the issue to a reasonable point. We are disturbed that the issue has been escalated.”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday warned that Turkey had gone too far by shooting down the plane, and said the incident will severely undermine Turkey’s interests.
“We believe that the Turkish leadership has crossed the line of what is acceptable,” he said at a press conference in Moscow.
Russia says a Turkish F-16 fighter jet shot down one of its SU-24 bombers over Syria on Tuesday. Turkey says the bomber violated its airspace.
The plane crashed into a mountainside in a rebel-held area close to the Turkish border.