Russia warns Turkey against missiles

Nov. 23, 2012 at 4:02 PM
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MOSCOW, Nov. 23 (UPI) -- Russia's Foreign Ministry warned against Turkey's intention to deploy NATO missiles on its border with Syria, calling it "an alarming signal."

Turkey has proposed deploying Patriot missiles, which the country says is necessary to protect its border with conflict-torn Syria, RIA Novosti reported. Syrian bullets and mortars have hit parts of Turkey, killing several and Syria has downed Turkish military aircraft.

"The militarization of the Turkish-Syrian border would be an alarming signal," Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said Thursday. "It would do nothing to foster stability in the region."

"Our advice to our Turkish colleagues is to use their influence on the Syrian opposition to draw them closer to dialogue, instead of flexing their muscles and taking the situation down a dangerous path," Lukashevich added.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan reacted angrily to Lukashevich's comments, calling them "very wrong" and adding they almost amounted to Russia's intervention in Turkey's domestic affairs.

Speaking Thursday night, Erdogan said, "Its (Russia's) approach, of trying to show Turkey's internal affairs -- which it is not involved with -- as a matter of its own (interest) is wrong. The issue is the placement of missiles for defense purposes," in remarks published Friday by the Turkish newspaper Milliyet.

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