What Next? How Deep NATO May Get Involved in Feud Between Russia, Turkey

© AFP 2022 / JOHN THYSThe NATO emblem is seen before a defence ministers meeting at the NATO headquarters in Brussels.
The NATO emblem is seen before a defence ministers meeting at the NATO headquarters in Brussels. - Sputnik International
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NATO should focus on fighting ISIL, not antagonizing Russia, a foreign relations expert from the University of Madrid says.

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The direction the situation concerning the Russian Su-24 aircraft downed by Turkish forces will take depends on the reaction of other NATO members, according to Xavier Morales, foreign relations expert and professor at the European University of Madrid.

"The question is, exactly how other NATO members will become involved in this confrontation between Russia and Turkey," Morales told RIA Novosti.

"A confrontation with Russia is a priority for NATO right now," he added.

According to Morales, the incident "might’ve been the result of reckless actions and miscalculations because there was no threat."

"Everyone knows that Russia doesn’t bomb Turkey, it attacks targets in Syria," Morales said.

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Morales also said that the countries fighting against ISIL should better coordinate their actions instead of squabbling among each other.

Meanwhile, diplomatic sources privy to the details of a NATO representatives meeting regarding the incident told RIA Novosti that Turkey was unable to back up its claim that the Russian warplane in question actually violated Turkish airspace.

"Turkey claimed that the Russian plane was fired at while in Turkish airspace and that all the relevant evidence was submitted to the NATO HQ in Torrejon. The aircraft however crashed in Syrian territory and several NATO members pointed out that it was likely shot down over Syria," source said.

On Tuesday, Turkish F-16s shot down a Russian Su-24M Fencer bomber.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey acted in line with its sovereign right to respond to threats, claiming that the Russian jet had violated Turkish airspace. However, flight data released by the Russian Ministry of Defense shows that the Su-24s never entered Turkey, and were attacked while performing legitimate maneuvers over Syria.

Russian President Vladimir Putin described the incident as a "stab in the back, carried out against us by accomplices of terrorists."

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