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Russia closely monitors wildfire situation in Turkey, senior diplomat says

According to Alexander Grushko, the Russian side receives information on the situation not only through the embassy but also through Russian consular representatives in Turkey

MOSCOW, July 30. /TASS/. Russia is closely monitoring the wildfire situation in Turkey and is in constant touch with the country’s authorities, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko told journalists on Friday.

"We are closely monitoring the situation. The Russian Federation, as you know, provided assistance to the Turkish authorities in order to help them cope with this disaster. Our equipment is deployed there, including Be-200 planes. We are in constant touch with the Turkish government," he said.

"We are proceeding from the fact that the Turkish side has enough resources to ensure the interests and safety of Russian citizens," the senior diplomat added. "Of course, one wouldn’t want to be in the situation when we have to make anti-crisis decisions, but nevertheless, of course, if there is an urgent need, everything possible will be done on our part in order to make the stay of our citizens there safe."

According to the diplomat, the Russian side receives information on the situation not only through the embassy but also through Russian consular representatives in Turkey. "So far they understand that the situation is under control and are praising the interaction with the local authorities," he noted.

On wildfire situation in Turkey

A wildfire broke out on July 28 not far from the resort town of Manavgat in Turkey’s southern Antalya province due to extremely hot weather in the region, according to preliminary data. Then on Thursday, the fires erupted in a number of other provinces, including the resort provinces of Aydin and Mugla. According to Turkey’s disaster and emergency management agency, the number of casualties as a result of the blazes reached four with 183 people injured.

Earlier, Turkey’s leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the state had mobilized all possible firefighting means. According to the presidential administration, over 1,100 units of equipment are engaged in the firefighting effort, including three Russian Be-200 amphibious aircraft.

Specialists think that high temperatures in the region and strong winds are one of the main reasons for the wildfires. However, the authorities do not exclude the possibility of arson and sabotage on the part of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) which is outlawed in the republic.