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Ex-President of Poland Calls on US to Shoot Down Russian Jets

© REUTERS / US NavyAn U.S. Navy picture shows what appears to be a Russian Sukhoi SU-24 attack aircraft flying over the U.S. guided missile destroyer USS Donald Cook in the Baltic Sea in this picture taken April 12, 2016 and released April 13, 2016
An U.S. Navy picture shows what appears to be a Russian Sukhoi SU-24 attack aircraft flying over the U.S. guided missile destroyer USS Donald Cook in the Baltic Sea in this picture taken April 12, 2016 and released April 13, 2016 - Sputnik International
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Former president of Poland Lech Walesa said that US Navy should have shot down Russian Su-24 fighters that came within 30 feet of the missile destroyer Donald Cook in the Baltic sea in order to identify the ship.

According to Walesa, such actions on the part of Russia cannot be tolerated.

"If I was a commanding officer on that ship, and I saw those planes flying above, I would just shoot them down." He said in an interview to Free Europe radio, "I wouldn't kill the pilots. I'd shoot through the wing"

The former leader of the eastern European country asserted that it is the proper way to answer the alleged "Russian threat" and that "otherwise they will win," but he does not believe such an act of hostility would lead to a military conflict with Russia.

"Nobody wants conflict, including Russia," he said, adding that Moscow would rather use such methods as blackmail and intimidation to achieve its goals.

Polish President and Solidarity founding leader Lech Walesa shows v-sign in front of Solidarity poster during his presidential campaign in Plock in this May 7, 1989 file photo - Sputnik International
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He recommended that Washington avoid playing too soft with Moscow suggesting instead that they follow the example of Turkey which on November 24, 2015 shot down a Russian Su-24 bomber with an F-16 fighter jet near the Turkish border over Syria.

Following the incident, Moscow imposed a number of restrictive measures on Turkey and has repeatedly said that Ankara should apologize for downing the plane and cover any material losses to the country and the pilot's family.

On Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sent a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin to express regret and send condolences for the downing of the Russian Su-24 bomber over Syria.

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