ST.PETERSBURG (Sputnik) – The downing of a Russian Su-24 attack aircraft by Turkey is a flagrant violation of international law and a grave crime, Russian upper house speaker Valentina Matvienko said Friday.
"Without any grounds, without any reasons the Turkish aircraft committed a crime, struck a blow to our combat plane, which led to the death of a pilot. Fortunately, a co-pilot was saved. For many reasons, it is a deliberate crime committed by the Turkish Air Force," Matvienko told reporters.
According to objective confirmed data of the Russian Defense Ministry, the plane did not cross into Turkish airspace, however, even if it had happened, there are rules of international law to determine subsequent procedure, Matvienko noted.
Russia has the right to a thorough investigation, and necessary measures to prevent such acts in the future would be taken, Matvienko stated, adding that, at the absolute minimum, Ankara should apologize to Moscow.
The downing of a Russian Su-24 bomber by Turkey destroys mutually beneficial cooperation between Moscow and Ankara, Matvienko said.
"This [downing of the Russian aircraft] inflicted serious damage on the Russian-Turkish relations. We regarded Turkey as our neighbor, partner, as a friendly country. We have developed mutual economic cooperation. Turkey tried its best to destroy mutually beneficial cooperation with Russia," Matvienko said.
Turkish-Russian relations have deteriorated rapidly after the downing of the Russian Su-24 jet by Turkey on Tuesday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the plane was downed by an air-to-air missile launched by a Turkish F-16 jet over Syrian territory. Ankara claimed that it downed the Russian airplane because it violated Turkish airspace. The Russian General Staff and the Syrian Air Defense Command have refuted the claims.