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PARIS, November 30 /TASS/. The Russian president raised the topic of Russia's Sukhoi Su-24M downed by Turkey at his meetings with foreign leaders in Paris. Everybody agreed there was no need to shoot the jet down.
"As for the downed Russian jet, of course I raised that theme at all the bilateral meetings which I had. I gave relevant explanations about what had happened. All the colleagues listened very attentively and most of them at least share the opinion that there had been no need to attack the unprotected Russian bomber, which was of no threat to Turkey," Putin told journalists.
The Russian president pointed out that Russia has grounds to suspect that the aircraft was downed to secure illegal oil deliveries from Syria to Turkey. The official noted that terrorists use visa-free traveling between Turkey and Russia for moving across the border.
Answering a question on whether Moscow wants to form a broad anti-terrorist coalition, Putin said: "We always supported this." "However, this cannot be done while someone continues to use several terrorist organizations to reach their immediate goals," he added.
The Russian president stressed that financial support to terrorists in Syria continues. "We have recently received additional reports that confirm that that oil from ISIL-controlled [Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant - former name of the Islamic State terrorist organization] territories is delivered to the territory of Turkey on an industrial scale," Putin noted.
Putin didn't hold a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Le Bourget.
"We did not hold a meeting with the Turkish president," Putin told journalists on Monday.
Putin however also admitted being saddened by worsening Russian-Turkish relations.
"I think we're all saddened and I personally am saddened because I myself did quite a lot for a buildup of these relations for quite some time," Putin told reporters. "But problems do exist and they emerged a long enough time ago and we have been trying to resolve them in dialogue with our Turkish partners."
An F-16 fighter jet of the Turkish Air Force brought Russia’s Su-24M frontline bomber down in the morning of Tuesday, November 24. Turkish defence officials claimed the Russian crew had intruded into Turkish airspace in the area of the Syrian-Turkish land-surface border. However, the Russian Defense Ministry says the Su-24M was flying over the Syrian territory and there was now intrusion in Turkish airspace.
The crew - Lt Col Oleg Peshkov and Capt Konstantin Murakhtin managed to eject themselves from the aircraft but Lt Col Peshkov was killed in midair by gunfire opened by militants from among the ethnic Turkomans.
Capt Murakhtin was rescued and taken to the Russian airbase at Hmeimin, Latakia province.
The search and rescue operation involved two Mi-8 helicopters. One of them was damaged by gunfire and made a forced landing. A contract marine serviceman died in the incident while the rest of the search party was evacuated to a safe place. The damaged helicopter was destroyed later by mortar fire from a land area controlled by militants.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said, speaking at the ceremony of the presentation of credentials by new foreign ambassadors on Thursday that Turkey was steering the relations into the gridlock as it neither apologized, nor offered to repair the damage, nor promised to punish those responsible. "We have not heard yet apologies from the highest political level of Turkey. Nor do we hear proposals to repair the damage or promises to punish the perpetrators for the committed crime," Putin said. "One gets the impression that the Turkish leadership is steering deliberately the Russian-Turkish relations into the dead end, which is regrettable," he added.
In an interview with CNN, Erdogan warned Moscow that Turkey would take steps if its warplane were downed by the Russian S-400 missile system in case it violated the Syrian airspace. "I think if there is a party that needs to apologize, it is not us," he said. "Those who violated our airspace are the ones who need to apologize."