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Russian diplomat: NATO afraid of consequences if plane incident not settled

November 25, 2015, 18:42 UTC+3

NATO is not interested in escalation

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MOSCOW, November 25. /TASS/. NATO is not interested in escalation of the situation around Russia's Sukhoi Su-24 bomber shot down by Turkey in Syria, Russia’s plenipotentiary representative to the North Atlantic alliance Alexander Grushko said on Rossiya 1 television channel on Wednesday.

"NATO is not interested in escalation. I think NATO is just afraid of consequences for itself should the incident not be settled," Grushko said.

According to Grushko, NATO has failed to pass another exam for objectivity in an attempt to cover up Turkey over the attack of a Russian Su-24 frontline bomber.

"NATO has failed to pass another exam for objectivity. We witnessed what we had seen so frequently in recent years: whatever NATO countries do is right, understandable and justifiable. NATO believes that the organisation is the ‘supreme judge’ in all security issues," Grushko said.

"NATO seems to be at a loss. Yesterday, we saw a kind of ‘political show’ the meaning of which consists in the fact that it is necessary to cover up Ankara politically for the reasons of Atlantic solidarity and the interests of political expediency," the Russian Permanent Representative said.

According to him, Turkey committed the gravest illegitimate act. It gunned down a plane in the airspace of a foreign country - Syria.

"Even if, as it’s turning out now, our plane had accidentally violated the Turkish airspace, it was for a very short time. The plane was en route from Syria to Syria. All that was played down yesterday," Grushko added.

The Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Wednesday dwelled on NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg's statement regarding the incident. Lavrov noted that the statement wasn't coordinated in detail with other NATO members, and stressed that the statement covers up Turkey.

"It seemed to me that there was a somewhat contrived statement (by Stoltenberg), which by and large covers up the Turkish side in this incident," the minister said. "NATO, after all, has 28 members, so they could not make a secret of the fact that the discussion in Brussels was held yesterday. And some information has reached us."

"It was hot there, a very heated debate," Lavrov said. "And Turkey was sharply rebuked for the attack on Russia’s plane. However, the notorious allied solidarity prevailed after all."

"But we also know that the statement made by the NATO secretary general, was not literally agreed with everybody," the minister said. "He kind of assumed the responsibility, and then, probably looked at the leading NATO members, listened to them and said what he said." "In particular, I would like to draw the attention, and I have told (Turkish Foreign Minister) Mr. Cavusoglu this, to his phrase that yesterday’s incident once again necessitates measures in the context of Russian military infrastructure’s dangerous approach to the NATO borders," Lavrov said. "I hope that all the people present here are competent and there is no need to explain to them on what, generally speaking, hypocritical background these statements are based."

"Representatives of the European Union have made just about the same statements," the minister said. He said that the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini was going to make an address at the European Parliament on Wednesday. "She has also asked for a telephone conversation, maybe after a meeting with you we’ll get this opportunity," the foreign minister told journalists.

The diplomat noted that Moscow knows the US always demands from its coalition members in Syria to coordinate use of US combat planes. Thus, he pointed to the possibility of the Turkish authorities agreeing with the United States their decision to order its warplanes in the air to shoot down the Russian plane.

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