NATO complicit in Turkey's downing of plane, Russian envoy says

By Ed Adamczyk Contact the Author   |  Dec. 1, 2015 at 7:59 AM
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MOSCOW, Dec. 1 (UPI) -- NATO's quick support of Turkey over the downing of a Russia fighter plane last week suggests NATO's culpability in the incident, a Russian parliament member said Tuesday.

"The practice of double standards used by NATO does not surprise anyone today," Duma representative and Security and Anti-Corruption Committee member Irina Yarovaya said. "But as for alliance support of Ankara over the downed Su-24, does this mean that NATO approves of Turkey's action, or did they prepare this provocation together? This is not just a rhetorical question."

Turkey, a NATO member, shot down a Russian fighter jet, on its way to fire on terrorist positions in Syria, on Nov. 24. One of two soldiers aboard died. The incident provoked an economic sanction on Turkey by Russia. On Monday, at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said there would be no apology, while NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg announced NATO's support of Turkey in defending its airspace.

Aleksandr Gushko, Russia's envoy to NATO, said Monday he spoke with NATO Deputy Secretary-General Alexander Vershbow on the matter and by backing Turkey, NATO is complicit in the incident. Grushko added Turkey did not follow NATO protocol in approaching the Russian plane.

"I laid out the Russian assessment of the incident and cited a series of military and political factors which indicate of the intentional nature of the attack on the Russian plane in the Syrian airspace. NATO prefers not to go into detail on what the reason was for Turkey's decision to launch a missile to down a plane which was flying in Syrian airspace and which posed no threat to Turkey. In the case of the Nov. 24 incident, even if we take for granted the absolutely ungrounded version of violation of Turkey's airspace, these NATO's practices were not observed, since, according to Ankara, the pilots did not even know the identity of the violator plane," he said.

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