23 November 2012, 19:49

Rasmussen, Lavrov discuss Turkey`s request for Patriot missiles

Rasmussen, Lavrov discuss Turkey`s request for Patriot missiles

NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen assured Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that plans of the alliance to deploy Patriot air defense missiles in Turkey are of purely defensive.

Mr. Rasmussen and Mr. Lavrov had a phone conversation on Friday initiated by NATO chief.

A statement released by the Russian Foreign Ministry after the talks says that Mr. Lavrov expressed his concerns over NATO`s plans to place Patriot air missiles on the Turkish-Syrian border.

He mentioned Russia’s initiative to help Ankara and Damascus be able to discuss all differences directly amid the increasing military potential in the region in order to avoid incidents.

Russian reaction to Patriot missile deployment 'erroneous' - Turkish PM

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said that Russia’s reaction to the deployment of the Patriot air defense systems on the border with Syria, which Ankara requested from the NATO on Wednesday, was "erroneous".

Answering the question about the Moscow's reaction to Turkey’s request to NATO, the official representative of the Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation Alexander Lukashevich noted on Thursday that Russia considered the militarization of the Syrian-Turkish border to be an alarm signal. "I believe Russia’s statement to be very erroneous", - the Turkish Prime Minister said in this regard to accompanying journalists on his return from Pakistan from the summit of the "Islamic group of eight".

Russia warns Turkey against Patriot missiles

Russia has expressed its concern over the militarization of the Turkish-Syrian border, the VoR correspondent Polina Chernitsa has cited the Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich who commented on Turkey’s request to deploy Patriot missiles on the Syrian border.

Moscow would like Turkey to contribute to the beginning of the inter-Syria dialogue rather than flex its military muscles, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said on Thursday.

“The militarization of the Syrian-Turkish border is a dismal signal,” Lukashevich said, referring to Turkey’s recent request to deploy Patriot anti-missile systems to protect its border with Syria.

He urged Turkey to interact more with the Syrian opposition so as to help start the inter-Syria dialogue as soon as possible.

Turkey already hosted the complex twice. in 1991 and 2003 during the two Iraqi campaigns but never used it.

Voice of Russia, Interfax, RIA

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