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MOSCOW, December 2 /TASS/. The links of Turkey’s senior leadership to trade in oil, which is being illegally supplied to Turkey from Syria and Iraq, can hardly go unnoticed by European public and will tarnish the image of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Alexei Pushkov, the Russian State Duma deputy in charge of foreign policy, said in an interview aired by the Rossiya 24 TV news channel on Wednesday.
Earlier, Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov accused Turkey’s senior leadership and personally President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of being involved in the illegal production and transportation of Syrian and Iraqi oil to Turkey.
"Turkey is the main consumer of this oil stolen from its legitimate owners - Syria and Iraq.
According to received information, the country’s (Turkey) senior leadership, President Erdogan and his family are being personally involved in this criminal business," Antonov said adding he expected the reaction to be serious.
"The leaders of France, Germany and other countries will be forced to take this fact into account and make certain corrections (to their policy) because if it is really so, it means that their NATO ally is cooperating with the Islamic State, which is the number one enemy for Europe and is posing a terrorist threat to NATO," Antonov said.
According to Pushkov, Erdogan has a checkered reputation of an unpredictable politician who is hard to deal with.
The Russian deputy does not expect NATO to subject Erdogan to public criticism because Turkey is an exclusively vital country for NATO.
"NATO leaders and Western leaders in general know how to play down information, which does not fit in into their plans and policy. I believe they will try to hush up this information too," Pushkov, who is the head of the Russian State Duma Committee for Foreign Affairs, said.
Sergei Rudskoi, the head of the main operational directorate of the Russian General Staff, said earlier on Wednesday that the Defense Ministry had revealed three oil transportation routes from Syria and Iraq into Turkey.
"Three major transportation routes running from the IS-held (formerly ISIS) areas in Syria and Iraq to the territory of Turkey have been revealed," Rudskoi said.