MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Alexander Grushko commented on Turkey turning to NATO immediately after shooting down the Russian Aerospace Forces Sukhoi Su-24 Fencer on November 24, "seeking political support, which was indeed provided."
"NATO, guided by considerations of Atlantic solidarity…did not deal objectively because everyone understands that objectively this crime is a flagrant violation of international law," Grushko told the Kommersant radio station. "It contradicts not only the fundamental articles of the UN Charter and a large number of conventions, but even contradicts NATO recommendations themselves."
The envoy brought to mind a NATO Council convened early in November addressing a forced violation of Turkish airspace by a Russian Su-30 Flanker on October 3. Two Turkish F-16 fighter jets intercepted the multirole fighter, allowing it to leave Turkish airspace unharmed.
"It was not done in this case, and in that sense Turkey even violated NATO’s own recommendations and documents regulating flights and rules of engagement in these situations," Grushko stressed.
Russia’s relations with Turkey suffered a significant setback after the Russian Su-24 bomber was downed by an air-to-air missile while carrying out precision strikes against terrorists in northern Syria. The missile was fired by a Turkish F-16 fighter in response to alleged violation of the Turkish airspace by the Russian jet.
Russia suspended all military contacts with Turkey and announced the cancellation of a visa-free regime with the country in January. The Russian government is due to present a series of economic and humanitarian response measures to Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Saturday.
NATO expressed public support toward Turkey after the incident. However, diplomatic sources told RIA Novosti several NATO members, including Greece and France, expressed harsh criticism toward Ankara at the November 24 NATO Council.