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QA-5, 4 February 2016, Statement of the Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tanju Bilgiç, in Response to a Question Regarding the Statements of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov Concerning the Violation of Turkish Airspace by the Russian Aircraft

Statements attributed to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov by Sputnik news agency seeks to distort the fact that Russian aircraft has violated Turkish airspace.

This issue simply concerns violation of Turkish airspace by Russian Federation aircraft. It has nothing to do with the Coalition's operations in Syria.

The Russian Federation has been in a state of denial of facts the international community knows as well as in self-contradiction since the incident of shooting down of the Russian aircraft after violating Turkish airspace on November 24, 2015. After having initially claimed that there was no violation of Turkish airspace, Russian Federation was not able prove its claims and hid behind the pretext that the aircraft’s black box was damaged. The Russian Federation has employed the same tactics following the last violation on January 29.

Minister Lavrov’s allegation that Turkey did not share any information is also totally unfounded. The military attaché of the Russian Federation in Ankara was summoned by Turkish authorities following the violation of our airspace. He was duly informed of the violation and issued necessary caution and appropriate warning.

It is our sovereign authority based on international law to act on violations of our airspace, take necessary measures on and appropriately respond to such violations.

The Russian Embassy in Ankara has been made aware in no uncertain terms of our warnings that continued violations of Turkish airspace would lead to certain consequences for which the Russian Federation would bear full responsibility.

We continue the same calm stance today that we have maintained since the beginning of this problem despite the smear campaign and provocations by Moscow since November 24. Taking this opportunity, we once again reiterate our call to resolve the current tensions through dialogue.