Sergei Lavrov Cancels Turkey Visit after Downing of Russian Warplane
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has cancelled his visit to Turkey scheduled for Wednesday following the downing of a Russian warplane by a Turkish Air Force jet.
"It has been decided to cancel the meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation and the Turkish Republic planned for tomorrow in Istanbul,” TASS quoted Lavrov as saying to reporters on Tuesday.
Lavrov planned to take part in a session of the Russian-Turkish Strategic Planning Group in Turkey on Wednesday.
Terrorist threats originating from Turkey’s territory are increasing, Lavrov said.
"And this can be said irrespective of what has taken place today," Lavrov said, apparently referring to the downing of Russian Su-24 fighter-bomber earlier on Tuesday.
He also said that the Foreign Ministry in Moscow doesn’t recommend to Russian citizens to travel to Turkey as “the threat of terrorism in Turkey is no less than in Egypt”.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said earlier on Tuesday that the downed Su-24 was no threat to Turkey and warned that the incident would have "serious consequences" for the relations between Moscow and Ankara.
Putin said the Russian warplane was flying over Syrian territory at a distance of 1 km. from the border with Turkey when it was hit by an air-to-air missile fired from a Turkish F-16 plane.
According to the Turkish military, the Russian warplane had violated Turkey's air space.
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