"First of all, we appreciate our relations with Russia as well as very significant coordination in the security sphere between the Russian military and the Israel Defense Forces. At the same time, we are not interested in maintaining a dialogue with Russia via media … We continue our contacts and coordination, all of which is done through secure channels," Lieberman said.
The minister also again accused Syrian troops of being responsible for the incident.
The Russian Il-20 military aircraft, which was 22 miles off the Syrian coast, was shot down on September 17 while returning to the Hmeimim airbase. At the same time, four Israeli F-16 aircraft were bombing Syrian targets in Latakia province. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Israel notified Russia of the airstrikes only a minute before they started, and provided misleading information concerning the area of the attack and the location of Israeli F-16 jets. The ministry said that the Israeli pilots used the Russian aircraft as a shield against Syrian air defense systems. As a result, the Il-20 jet was downed by a missile launched by Syria's S-200 air defense system at 10:03 p.m. local time (19:03 GMT). The incident claimed the lives of 15 Russian servicemen.
Israel has refuted the accusations of its aircraft using the Il-20 as a shield and maintains that Moscow was warned about the air raid in a timely manner.