Russia accuses Turkey of downing its jet to protect illegal ISIS oil pipeline
Published 30/11/2015 | 19:11
Russia says it has proof that Islamic State is transferring its oil on an “industrial scale” through Turkey.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday that he had received “more information” showing that Turkey's downing of a Russian plane was “dictated by a desire to defend this oil pipeline”.
“At the moment we have received additional information confirming that that oil from the deposits controlled by Islamic State militants enters Turkish territory on industrial scale,” he said while attending a global climate conference in Paris.
“We have every reason to believe that the decision to down our plane was guided by a desire to ensure security of this oil’s delivery routes to ports where they are shipped in tankers.”
Mr Putin added that the downing of its Su-24 by Turkish jets on November 24 was a "huge mistake".
“As a result of this criminal action two of our soldiers died – a crew commander and a marine, who was part of the rescue team of the [Su-24] crew,” he said.
The body of the pilot who died was flown back to Russia from Turkey on Monday after the Turkish authorities took possession of it from an unknown group.
Mr Putin's words come after it was revealed that Russian jets in Syria are now carrying air-to-air missiles "for self defence".
Russia imposed a series of economic sanctions against Turkey last Thursday, which included banning several Turkish organisations and the import of certain goods, as well as cancelling the visa-free regime for Turkish citizens travelling to Russia.
Speaking on the sidelines of the summit, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said his country would act “patiently, not emotionally” before imposing any counter-measures.
Meanwhile, ahead of the Paris climate summit, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu stated that Ankara would not apologise “for doing our duty.”
"No country should ask us to apologise," he told reporters following a meeting with NATO's Secretary General at alliance headquarters in Brussels.
"The protection of our land borders, our airspace, is not only a right, it is a duty.
"We apologise for committing mistakes, not for doing our duty."
Six days after NATO member Turkey shot down the Russian bomber, the US ambassador to NATO confirmed that his country's intelligence supports Turkey's view that the downed Russian jet violated Turkish airspace on November 24.