MOSCOW, November 17. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has demanded that Russia’s air force operation in Syria should be intensified.
"Our combat aviation’s work in Syria should not be simply continued. It should be reinforced in a way that criminals realize that punishment is inevitable," Putin said at a meeting he held late on Monday.
Russia’s Federal Security Service Chief Alexander Bortnikov reported to the president at the meeting that the recent Russian airliner crash on the Sinai peninsula had been caused by a terrorist act.
"I request the Defense Ministry and the General Staff to submit corresponding proposals. I’ll check how work is proceeding," Putin said.
Putin also instructed the Defense Ministry "to turn to all our partners." "We count on all our friends in the course of this work, including the search for and the punishment of criminals," the Russian president said.
"We’ll act pursuant to Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, which stipulates the right of states to self-defense," the Russian leader said.
"Al those who are attempting to provide assistance to criminals must know that the consequences of the attempts of such cover-up will be fully shouldered by them," Putin said.
Putin demanded that the security services should concentrate on the search for persons complicit in the terrorist attack against the Russian airliner.
Russian Kogalymavia’s A321 plane, en-route from Sharm el-Sheikh to St. Petersburg, crashed in the early morning of October 31 just some 20 minutes after its takeoff. The disaster site is 100 kilometers (62 miles) south of the administrative center of North Sinai Governorate, the city of Al-Arish.
Flight 9268 carried 217 passengers and seven crewmembers and they were all officially announced dead following the tragic accident. Most passengers were Russian nationals. Among the passengers onboard were also four Ukrainian citizens and one Belarusian national.