Topic: Turkey Grounds Syrian Plane
MOSCOW, October 11 (RIA Novosti)
Russia expressed a thinly veiled protest on Thursday at the grounding by Turkish authorities of a Moscow-Damascus passenger jet over accusations it was carrying "illegal cargo."
Turkish F-16 fighter jets forced down the Syrian Air Airbus A320 some three hours after it had taken off from Moscow's Vnukovo international airport. Turkey eventually permitted the A320 to resume its flight after a five-hour inspection of the aircraft that resulted in the seizure of a number of items.
"There is illegal cargo on the plane that should have been reported," Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told national media.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the intercepted plane was carrying Russian-made military gear and ammunition destined for the Syrian military.
“We are concerned that the life and security of the passengers, including 17 Russian nationals, was endangered,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said on Thursday.
He said Turkey had not informed Russia that its nationals were on board and that Russian embassy officials and doctors had been denied access to the plane
“Russia insists on an explanation of such behavior with regard to the Russian nationals and demands that measures be taken to prevent any such incidents happening in the future,” he said.
The United States said meanwhile that it supported Turkey’s decision to force the plane down and indicated it would raise the matter with Russia.
“We strongly support the government of Turkey’s decision to inspect the plane,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said, adding that Washington was “concerned by any effort to supply military equipment to the Assad regime.”
The episode was likely to come up in bilateral discussions between US and Russian officials, she added.
Moscow has repeatedly blocked international sanctions against the embattled regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad over what it says is a pro-rebel bias. Tens of thousands of people have killed been since the outbreak of civil war in Syria in March 2011, according to opposition groups.
Russia has insisted that its ongoing arms deliveries to Syria are in accordance with international law.
Syrian Ambassador to Moscow Riad Haddad was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry on Thursday.
Syrian authorities on Thursday demanded that Turkey returned the seized cargo.
"There were no weapons or any prohibited cargo on board," said the Syrian Foreign Ministry. “These hostile actions by the Turkish authorities are further evidence of the aggressive policy by the Turkish government."
The ministry also accused Ankara of “training terrorists, sheltering them, and sending them to Syria.”
Tensions between Turkey and Syria boiled over late last Wednesday when a mortar round apparently fired from Syria killed five civilians in the Turkish border town of Akcakale.
Turkey responded with artillery strikes against targets in violence-wracked Syria and the Turkish parliament authorized the government to order more strikes as necessary.
Although Damascus apologized for the incident, Turkish and Syrian artillery exchanged fire a number of times over the ensuing six days.
Syria responded to the grounding of the plane in Ankara by ordering its Air Force to intercept any Turkish planes in its airspace, the Lebanese newspaper Addiyar reported.
Putin Postpones Turkey Visit Until December
The potential date for a visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin to Turkey has been moved back from mid-October to the beginning of December, the Kremlin said on Thursday.
“December 3 is considered one of the possible dates for the president’s working visit to Istanbul to attend a meeting of the High-Level Cooperation Council,” president's press secretary Dmitry Peskov told reporters in Moscow.
“The final date will be agreed through diplomatic channels,” he added.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited Moscow in July and Putin had been expected to attend a meeting of the High-Level Cooperation Council in Turkey on October 15.
The announcement of the new date for the meeting comes a day after Turkish fighter jets forced a Syria-bound passenger plane with Russian citizens on board to land at the airport in Ankara so that it could be searched for military cargo. The Russian Foreign Ministry said it was "concerned" by Turkey's treatment of the Russian citizens during the incident.
The Russian Foreign Ministry has earlier said that energy issues would primarily be discussed during Putin’s visit. However, the recent developments in the Syrian crisis, including incidents on Turkey-Syria border, could also be part of the agenda.
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- lmTO MUCH TALK AND NO ACTIONS FROM RUSSIA15:51, 11/10/2012Keek talking Russia the West is listening?????????????
- lmKeep talking just keep talking16:17, 11/10/2012So what have we all here again just talking and endless talking from the Russians? The West knows Russia does not have the political will to defend its interest aboard and will just continue to talk, besides the West has to many grants and support to Russia financially this is why Russia is trying to rid itself of such agreements as it ties Russia’s hand.
It is high time Russia stands up and be counted because after Syria and Iran next stop Russian Caucasus Putin and Russia can put that in their pipes and smoke it because the writing is on the wall.
Russia must know conventional wisdom, that one cannot protect it interest with its military sitting in the barracks. Russia only friend and ally are its arm forces uses them before it’s too late. Because after Syria Russia will lose disastrously political influence both at home and aboard and I think Putin and his team know that very well!
- Wolfgang9maybe one more lecture21:59, 11/10/2012of the subject:
"Who has friends like Russia doesn't need any foes"?
- bielecHere is the real picture...22:43, 11/10/2012Even if there was some ammunition on board this plane, nobody got hurt and nothing happened. Compare this to Turkish support and supplies for the terrorists and foreign mercenaries operating in Syria who killed and wounded thousands of innocent people.
How dare Turkey accuses Russia of violating international law? Turkey's violations are much greater.
In addition, Turkey continues provocations to force Syria's response that would be used as pretext for "humanitarian bombing" of Syria by NATO. This is a crime against peace. Erdogan is a criminal who should be tried in Nuremberg.
- PlutardesNATO and the USA are absent in the Syrian conflict23:11, 11/10/2012The Syrian rebels as well as the Turkish government are fighting a proxy war for the United States and NATO, North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The point is that nobody knows where such disfranchised conflicts may end. There are no policies for the rebels or Turkish army that are not prepared for war. Both the rebels and Turkish want NATO to get involved in their quest for regime change in Syria, in a war that they have not started in principle and cannot put an end to. The Syrian commercial airplane intersepted by Turkey in a theatrical that was fabricated to get the involvement of NATO and the USA. NATO does not want any involvement already almost in the second year after the beginning of the Syrian conflict. During the war of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, the United States did not get involved because they considered their involvement a suicide; NATO too did not get involved in the war of the Republic of Georgia. History is repeating itself when it comes to Syria, NATO and USA.
- gunshipdemocracyNow down all Turkish planes over Russia01:55, 12/10/2012search each 10 hours and take whatever you like. And close all kebabs in Russia ;-)
- mishkaTurkish goverment and Turkish people are completely different this time.00:26, 13/10/2012I am Turkish and live in Turkey at the moment. Be sure majority of my poeple are aware that our goverment is never right and fair with it's acts. Polls show that only 20-25% of poeple supports my goverment's policies on the topic. My goverment just plays it's role in the game of NATO. And that role is wrong, cruel and unfair. The administration of Tayyip Erdogan get more and more dangerous for the global security. They have serious problems and conflictions not only with Syria but also with Iraq and Iran. A few days ago Iraqi P.M. Maliki has bought Pantsir air defence systems and had an announcment in Moscow that he had to buy that system to shut Turkish war planes which violate Iraqi airspace regularly. Georgian army used Turkish made and supplied weapons in the war against Russia in 2008. Turkey has to behave hostile to Russia under NATO command.
The west aims to conquer Syria then Iran. Azerbeijan and Uzbekistan are good U.S. allies. Afghanistan is under American invation. Poland, Romania and even Bulgaria welcome U.S. influence. Plus Turkey has been a castle for U.S. CAn not you see it s an operation of surrounding Russia. And they have some internal instruments to create unrest in Russia. Islands crisis in the sea of China among China and Japan has the same reason but against China. I can not criticize current Russian administration for the weakness and incapability. There is a huge gap and difference between NATO and Russia in military capacity. Even Turkey alone has a bigger and stronger much more modern navy than Russia first time in last 300 years.
About this recent passenger plane crisis. Of course Turkey is not right. According to international laws, weapons are not banned but LIMITED to be tranported by civil passenger planes. Because of EXPLOSIVES may threat the lifes of people on board. Air line company has to declare the situation to the crew and passengers and has to get their permit. But the cargo of this plane was not EXPLOSIVES but just some spare parts of radar systems and some military telecommunication devices. It s impossible to explode and kill people on board. Turkish goverment refuses Syrian suggestion to them to show the footage is recorded by Turkish intellegence service agents during the search and investigations in the plane and exhibit the objects have been found on TV. And dont forget Russian diplomatic stuff were refused to enter the airport and access to Russian citizens in the plane. Why Turkish secret agents (there were gossips here that there were also CIA agants anong them) wanted to hide something from Russian diplomats? And Turkey has just appropriated all the objects. And even did not pay their price to Syria. Does international laws authorize it to capture all the belongings. Passengers and stuff have claims of they were not treantened good and piecefull.
Unfortunatelly Russia has not power to protect it's benefits and interests, global security and justice. And in my opinion this disaster is because of "lost 90s" in Gorbachov and Yeltsin eras. And Putin is desperate now without any economic and military power against NATO.
- lmNice post but a little corrections many thanks.09:33, 13/10/2012• Unfortunatelly Russia has not power to protect it's benefits and interests, global security and justice. And in my opinion this disaster is because of "lost 90s" in Gorbachov and Yeltsin eras. And Putin is desperate now without any economic and military power against NATO.
I do not agree because Russia is not looking for a war with anyone but should NATO provoke Russia to such an extent Russia will not back down. Russia has enough fire power and recourses to confront NATO if needs be does not matter if NATO has more arms or capability because that is just want the West wants the world to believe that Russia military is weak.
I can not criticize current Russian administration for the weakness and incapability. There is a huge gap and difference between NATO and Russia in military capacity. Even Turkey alone has a bigger and stronger much more modern navy than Russia first time in last 300 years.
In terms of military might you just have to look at the world’s defense standing and see where Turkey stands on the list? Another point Turkey may have more ships but one of Russia Navy ship has more fire power that the whole of the Turkey’s Navy and that fact has been well establish by defense expert and analyst. Plus Russia has the capability to destroy Turkey Navy ten times over.
So it is not about size but fire power and range.
Secondly I will criticize Russia foreign policy as very weak very Russia talks to much and do nothing but rely on a Veto power that the West does not care about, in the West way of thinking it is simple if the SC passes it fine if not we just work around it.
Russia stands to lose big time diplomatically and geopolitically if they allowed to be kicked out of the Middle East now even Turkey and its Mr. arrogant PM is sticking its finger up Russian and Putin??????
Russia has no choice but to get more involve. Putin has to rid Russia of all the hand outs they receive from the West as if Russia is a recipient of charity this ties Moscow hands USAID, UNICEF, and all such programs must come to an end without any second thinking.
If you were to look carefully they are trying to surround Russia militarily, trying to sow unrest in Russia, accusing Russia or portraying Russia as the bad guy with Syria and taking the Oil from countries one by one.
So with Iraq, Syria, Iran Libya gone next stop is the Russian Caucasus then they will turn back at the KSA and Qatar and say well thanks for the help but we need your Oil now?
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The growing outright rivalry between the United States and China gives Russia more foreign policy weight, enabling it to assume the role of a balancer. So far it has been doing so rather skillfully. Today it may participate in a joint naval exercise with China that Beijing positions as outwardly anti-American. But tomorrow it can team up with the naval forces of the Old World.