ANKARA (Sputnik) — Turkey sees Russia as a friend and has no intention of severing relations, despite downing a Russian Su-24 military jet on Tuesday, Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Wednesday.
"We don't have and cannot have any intentions to sever ties with Russia after this incident, or to remain in a tense state. Russia is our friend, neighbor, and a very important partner. Bilateral relations cannot be sacrificed," Davutoglu said at a party meeting.
"However, I wish to underline that when it comes to ensuring national security, any relations, even the most friendly, should be based on respect for each country's right to defend its territory," the minister added.
According to Davutoglu, political, economic and cultural ties between the two countries are powerful and must not be broken.
Ankara claimed it downed the Russian airplane because it violated Turkish airspace. Both the Russian General Staff and the Syrian Air Defense Command confirmed that the Su-24 never crossed into Turkish airspace, in accordance with precise objective control data.
Soon after the downing, Moscow said that the incident could seriously undermine the Russia-Turkey relations.