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Lavrov says Russians should refrain from visiting Turkey

"According to our estimations, the threat is no less than in Egypt," Lavrov warns
Istanbul, Turkey AP Photo/Emrah Gurel
Istanbul, Turkey
© AP Photo/Emrah Gurel

SOCHI, November 24. /TASS/. Terrorist threat in Turkey is no less than in Egypt and the Foreign Ministry does not recommend Russians to visit the Turkish Republic, minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday.

"According to our estimations, the threat is no less than in Egypt," Lavrov said. "We do not recommend our nationals to visit Turkey for tourist or other purposes."

He said "a critical mass of terrorist manifestations" was growing in Turkey. "What should be stressed today is that terrorist threats from the Turkish territory are growing. And it can be said regardless of today’s incident," the Russian top diplomat told journalists, obviously referring to downing of a Russian warplane by a Turkish fighter jet in Syria.

He noted that at today’s meeting with King Abdullah of Jordan, Russian President Vladimir Putin had been quite straight about the incident when Turkey had downed a Russian warplane on an anti-terror mission in Syria. "[Putin’s] assessments were absolutely clear. The president put in unequivocally that this incident could not but tell on the Russia-Turkish relations," Lavrov said.

A Russian Su-24 warplane was downed by an air-to-air missile launched from a Turkish F-16 fighter jet when it was at an altitude of 6,000 meters at a distance on one kilometer from the Turkish border. The Defense Ministry said earlier that pilots had managed to eject from the aircraft. Their whereabouts were being established. Later, the Defense Ministry said the jet had been downed when it was returning to the Hmeymim airbase.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said the downed Su-24 was no threat to Turkey as it was on a mission to bomb Islamic State targets. The Russian president warned that attack on the Russian warplane would have "serious consequences" for the Russian-Turkish relations.