Russian jet ‘shot down to protect Islamic State oil trade’: Putin


Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused Ankara of shooting down a Russian warplane to protect supplies of oil from the Islamic State group to Turkey, after snubbing his Turkish counterpart at a climate conference in France, reported ABC.

“We have every reason to think that the decision to shoot down our plane was dictated by the desire to protect the oil supply lines to Turkish territory, right to the ports where it is loaded onto tankers,” Putin said during a news conference on the fringes of the climate talks, echoing similar accusations he made last week.

“We have received additional information which unfortunately confirms that this oil, produced in areas controlled by the Islamic State and other terrorist organisations, is transported on an industrial scale to Turkey.”

This is the first time, a NATO member has shot down a Russian plane, since 1952.

Putin did meet US President Barack Obama, who “expressed his regret” over the loss of life in the plane downing and called for a “de-escalation between Russia and Turkey”, a White House official said.

Russia on Monday laid out more details of retaliatory economic sanctions aimed at denting Turkey’s key tourism and agricultural sectors.

Moscow announced it will halt fruit and vegetable imports from Turkey after Putin signed a decree over the weekend banning charter flights and the sale of package holidays, and scrapping Russia’s visa-free regime with the country.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev called the moves a “first step” as Moscow also said it would limit Turkish transport firms and tighten controls on construction contracts.

According to Reuters, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu insisted once again that Ankara would not apologise over the downing of the plane.

“Protection of our airspace, our border is not only a right but a duty for my government and no Turkish premier or president … will apologise (for) doing our duty,” he told a joint press conference with NATO head Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels.

The US State Department said on Monday that the downed Russian warplane violated Turkish airspace, urging Russia and Turkey to de-escalate the situation through dialogue.

“The available information, including evidence from Turkey and our own sources, indicates the Russian aircraft violated Turkish airspace,” Xinhua quoted the US State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau as saying.

“We also know that the Turks warned the Russian pilots multiple times before the airspace violation, to which the Turks received no response.”

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