MOSCOW (Combined Sources)—The actions of the Turkish authorities with regard to the Russian Sukhoi Su-24M bomber were hostile, not just unfriendly, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the annual press conference on Thursday.
The president said he was indignant at the fact that Turkish authorities complained to NATO instead of providing explanation about the incident.
According to Putin, Turkish people remain Russia’s partners, but it is impossible to come to agreement with the current Turkish leadership.
Putin says that Russian military operation in Syria will continue until a political process starts. Putin said at a televised news conference that once the Syrians decide it’s time to stop fighting and launch talks, “we aren’t going to be more Syrian than the Syrians themselves,” and Moscow will wrap up its military action, the Associated Press reports.
He says that he was unsure whether Russia needs a permanent military base in Syria. He said new Russian weapons, such as sea- and air-launched cruise missiles, give Moscow enough punch to strike an enemy and there may be no need for a permanent base in Syria.
Turkey will not be able to violate the Syria airspace after Russia had deployed S-400 defense system in Hmeymim airbase, Russian president Vladimir Putin told journalists during the press-conference in Moscow, Sputnik News reports.
With Russia’s deployment of the S-400 anti-aircraft system, Turkey will not be able to violate Syria’s airspace with impunity, as they had previously done, Putin said Thursday during the press conference.
“They [Turkish authorities] thought that we would turn tail and run! No, Russia is not that country. We have increased our presence in Syria, have increased the number of combat aircraft deployed there. There was no Russian air defense system there –now there’s the S-400. If before, Turkey had constantly violated Syrian airspace, let them try it now.”
Following the incident involving the Russian Su-24M bomber which was shot down by a Turkish F-16 over Syria on the Turkish border, Russia deployed its latest anti-aircraft missile system – the S-400 to Syria, also deploying the missile cruiser Moskva and the submarine Rostov-on-Don off the shores of Syria in the Mediterranean.
Putin, who met U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry earlier this week, said at the news conference that Moscow supports a U.S. draft of a U.N. Security Council resolution on Syria. He says a new constitution for Syria must be drafted, and a new election prepared in which the Syrians themselves will determine its leadership.
He adds that Russia believes that a political settlement is the only way to end the Syrian crisis.
Putin says Russia and the U.S. agree on the need to ensure work on a new constitution and create mechanisms of control over future elections.