BRUSSELS, November 29. /TASS/. EU’s High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, plans to discuss the November 24 downing of the Russian Su-24M bomber by the Turkish Air Force in the skies over Syria with the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov on the sidelines of the climate summit in Paris.
She said it upon arrival at the EU-Turkey summit on migration.
The main thing in the current situation is to make sure that the tensions do not undermine the process of normalization in Syria, which began on November 14 in Vienna where all the parties to the peace settlement process gathered at a conference table, Mogherini said.
It would be a great mistake to loosen or decrease the intensity of the diplomatic efforts to ensure the political process in Syria in the wake of tension or complications that are hard to resolve on the spot, she said.
Mogherini insisted that only the transfer of state power in Damascus and the attaining of consensus by all the forces inside and outside Syria would make it possible to ensure efficacious struggle with the Islamic State or another major terrorist groping, Jabhat al-Nousra.
She recalled that she phoned NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to make sure that the EU and NATO would put equal efforts into reducing the risks of escalation. Then she spoke to the Turkish Foreign Minister.
An F-16 fighter jet of the Turkish Air Force brought the Su-24M 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.
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 Humeymin, 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.