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MOSCOW, November 24. /TASS/. A senior Russian lawmaker from the upper house of parliament suggested freezing all interstate contacts with Turkey following the crash of a Russian Sukhoi Su-24 bomber after a missile strike from a Turkish fighter.
Konstantin Kosachev, the head of the Federation Council’s international affairs committee, wrote on his Facebook page that Turkey chose itself a place "in the modern history of the fight between good and evil" on its own. "And it turns out that this place is beyond the antiterrorism coalition. Wishing or not, it is with terrorists," he said.
Kosachev said "regretfully, there is no hope for apologies on the part of the Turkish side," adding that it is time to wait for "reaction from our potential partners on the global antiterrorism coalition," that is NATO member states.
"As regards interstate contacts with Turkey, I think it is necessary to suspend them until better times," he said.
Kosachev expressed regret that a strike of a Turkish missile "in a moment destroyed everything that had been developed in Russian-Turkish relations for years: trust and partnership."
"Distrust and enmity have returned. An epic mistake by the Turkish leadership that is worse than a crime. Including before its own people," he said, adding that Ankara’s mistake "will be used by the terrorists which the Russian bomber was fighting while protecting, ultimately, Turkey."
"I sincerely regret that such a smashing blow has been dealt to our intersociety relations. Russians have got used to seeing in Turks friends and partners rather than those who are ready, in an unenforced situation, to immediately deal a fatal blow against our people who had no slightest hostile intentions against Turkey or its people," the lawmaker said.
A Sukhoi Su-24 bomber of Russia’s Aerospace Forces was on Tuesday downed by an air-to-air missile fired by a Turkish F-16 fighter jet when it was at an altitude of 6,000 meters 1 kilometer from Turkey’s border. Later the Russian Defense Ministry specified that the plane was downed when it was returning to the Khmeimim airbase in Syria.
"Objective control data analysis unambiguously showed that there was no violation of Turkey’s airspace," the ministry said. However, Turkey’s General Staff claims that the Turkish fighter jet shot down a plane that violated the country’s airspace. A statement circulated by the Turkish military says the plane’s crew received 10 warnings for five minutes.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with King of Jordan Abdullah II on Tuesday that Ankara’s attack against the Russian Sukhoi Su-24 plane, which took part in Russia’s antiterrorism operation in Syria and did not present a threat to Turkey, was a "stab in Russia’s back" delivered by terrorists’ accomplices.
Russia’s Aerospace Forces started delivering pinpoint strikes in Syria at facilities of the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organizations, which are banned in Russia, on September 30, 2015, on a request from Syrian President Bashar Assad.
The air group comprises over 50 aircraft and helicopters, including Sukhoi Su-24M, Su-25SM and state-of-the-art Su-34 aircraft. They were redeployed to the Khmeimim airbase in the province of Latakia.
On October 7, four missile ships of the Russian Navy’s Caspian Flotilla fired 26 Kalibr cruise missiles (NATO codename Sizzler) at militants’ facilities in Syria. On October 8, the Syrian army passed to a large-scale offensive.
Over 2,000 terrorist facilities have been destroyed by Russian aircraft since the start of the air operation. The Russian Federation does not plan to take part in ground operations in Syria.
According to UN statistics, fighting between Syrian government troops and militants has killed more than 200,000 people and displaced millions since its start in 2011.
Russian President Vladimir Putin recently gave instructions to intensify strikes delivered by Russian aircraft in Syria after Federal Security Service (FSB) chief Alexander Bortnikov reported that the crash of Russia’s A321 airliner above the Sinai Peninsula on October 31 was caused by a terrorist act carried out with the help of a homemade explosive device.
A total of 224 people were killed, making the air crash the largest in the history of domestic aviation. Following the tragedy, Russia suspended flights to Egypt.
Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu reported to President Vladimir Putin November 17 that Russia has involved strategic and long-range aircraft in strikes against the Islamic State in Syria.