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MOSCOW, February 1. /TASS/. A Russian lawmaker said on Monday Turkish Prime Minister Ahment Davutoglu’s plans to request that Russia explain the incident over the alleged violation of the Turkish airspace by a Russian warplane to NATO are nonsense.
"Nonsense. It looks like Turkey, in the person of its prime minister, barely understands what it wants from Russia," Frants Klintsevich, the first deputy chairman of the defense and security committee at Russia’s Federation Council upper parliament house, told journalists.
He said it was at least strange to explain what had never taken place. "And what NATO secretary general has to do with that? And finally, all this hysteria around the Russian warplane that allegedly violated Turkey’s airspace is not the most direct way to a meeting between the two countries’ presidents the Turkish side has been seeking so persistently," he said.
"Turkey has driven itself into a corner instead of being courageous enough to apologize, repair the damage and punish those responsible," Klintsevich noted. "And it’s sheer audacity to demand that Russia provide any explanations on the backdrop of Turkish artillery shelling of Syrian settlement, a fact that is proved by evidence."
On January 30, Turkey’s foreign ministry claimed a Russian warplane had allegedly violated the Turkish border on January 29. "Yesterday a Russian Aerospace Forces’ Su-34 violated Turkish airspace. Before the violation, Turkish radar stations repeatedly warned the Russian aircraft in Russian and in English," the statement said. According to the Turkish foreign ministry, the Russian ambassador had been summoned on the same day to be presented with a protest over the incident.
Russia’s Defense Ministry on Saturday denied the claims by Turkey. "There have been no violations of Turkey’s airspace by aircraft of the Russian air group in the Syrian Arab Republic," the ministry said. Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov has dismissed Turkey’s claims as "unsubstantiated propaganda."
While on a visit to Saudi Arabia, Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said violation of Turkey’s airspace could be seen as violation of NATO’s borders. "An important thing was NATO coming to the forefront. It issued a statement [with Turkey]. Any violation of Turkish airspace is a violation of NATO’s airspace and will be addressed accordingly. Our instruction to the Foreign Ministry was to ask Russia to explain this violation to the NATO Secretary-General," Hurriyet Daily News quoted him as saying. "NATO’s stance on this issue is satisfactory," he added.