ANKARA, April 23. /TASS/. Turkey closed its air space to Russian military and civilian planes flying to Syria, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told journalists during his Latin American tour.
"We were giving permissions in three-month intervals. The latest one was until April," the Sabah newspaper quoted him as saying. The Turkish top diplomat stated that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had informed his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin about the situation. "Henceforth the flights have stopped," he added, saying that the process is being conducted through dialogue on both the Montreux Convention and other matters.
The situation at the Donbass engagement line flared up on February 17. The self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) reported the most massive bombardments by the Ukrainian armed forces over the past months. Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a televised address on February 24 that in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics he had made a decision to carry out a special military operation in order to protect people "who have been suffering from abuse and genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years." The Russian leader stressed that Moscow had no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories, noting that the operation was aimed at the denazification and demilitarization of Ukraine.