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Russia’s upper parliament house freezes contacts with Turkish parliament — MP

December 18, 2015, 21:54 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Konstantin Kosachev says there is no point in unfreezing such contacts as long as the Turkish lawmakers are "unthinkingly and dogmatically upholding the position taken by the Turkish president"

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© Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS

MOSCOW, December 18. /TASS/. Russia’s Federation Council upper parliament house has frozen contacts with the Turkish parliament following the incident with Turkey’s downing a Russian warplane in Syria, Konstantin Kosachev, the chairman of the Federation Council’s international committee, said on Friday.

"Our contacts with colleagues in the Turkish parliament, which have been very active until now, has been frozen," he told journalists.

He said the upper house had taken this decision and "sees no point in unfreezing such contacts as long as the Turkish lawmakers are unthinkingly and dogmatically upholding the position taken by the Turkish president." "There is no sense in dialogue in such case," he saud.

Kosachev confirmed that Russian lawmakers had "no contacts" with their Turkish counterparts.

Moreover, Kosachev said he did not even knew his new counterpart, who had taken charge of the Turkish parliament’s international committee after the parliamentary elections in Turkey. "I knew the previous chairman, but I refused to speak with him when he made attempts to contact me," he said.

Earlier, the Russian State Duma lower parliament house said it was suspending contacts with the Turkish parliament. "In the foreseeable future, top officials of the State Duma see no possibility for contacts at the higher parliamentary level between the State Duma and Turkey’s parliament," Alexei Pushkov, the chairman of the State Duma international committee, said on December 7.

The Russian Su-24M all-weather bomber was on anti-terrorism mission in Syria on November 24, when it was shot down by a Turkish F-16 fighter jet. Ankara claimed it downed the Russian warplane after it had violated Turkey’s airspace, while the Russian defense ministry says the bomber was in the airspace over Syria at the time of the attack. Both pilots of the downed warplane ejected safely after they were hit by an air-to-air missile, but the commander was killed in a militants’ gunfire from the ground as he was parachuting.

Two Russia’s Mi-8 helicopters were engaged in the pilots’ search and rescue operation, which reportedly lasted for some 12 hours. One of the helicopters dispatched for the rescue mission came under fire and was subsequently forced to an emergency landing after sustaining damages. One Russian contract serviceman, a marine, was killed during the emergency landing. The rest of the servicemen on board of the helicopter were safely evacuated. The downed Mi-8 helicopter was later destroyed by mortar fire from the territory under control of the militants.

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