Monday, December 14, 2015
"We Have A LIMIT". Turkey Runs Out Of Patience With Russia After Warship FIRES On Boat
Via Express: TURKEY'S Foreign minister has said patience with Russia "has a limit" after a Russian warship fired a warning shot at a Turkish ship in the Aegean Sea, raising tensions further between the two nations. Mevlut Cavusoglu said Moscow's reaction to the Turkish boat was "exaggerated" and an over-reaction. Speaking to Italian newspaper Corriere della Serra he said: "Ours was only a fishing boat, it seems to me that the reaction of the Russian naval ship was exaggerated. "Russia and Turkey certainly have to re-establish the relations of trust that we have always had, but our patience has a limit". Just moments after his comments a Russian Black Sea corvette forced a commercial vessel under a Turkish flag to change course after it got in the way of a Crimean energy firm's boats towing oil rigs. Russian company Chernomorneftegaz said the Turkish boat had to be moved out of the way. It comes after a Russian warship fired a warning shot at a Turkish vessel in the Aegean Sea yesterday morning. Russia said the shots were fired at a Turkish shipping vessel in order to avoid a collision. They said in a statement that the boat had approached to 600m. The Russian ship had been unable to make radio contact and the Turkish vessel did not respond to flares or visual signals. After the Russian "guard ship" Smetlivy fired warning shots, the Turkish ship changed course, passing to within 540m. The statement from the Russian Defence Ministry said: "Despite numerous attempts by the crew of the Smetlivy, the crew of the Turkish fishing boat did not make radio contact and did not respond to visual signals by semaphore or warning flares. Small arms were fired in the direction of the Turkish vessel from a range that is not lethal". The Turkish military attache in Moscow was summoned to meet the Russian foreign ministry to discuss the matter, which occured at around 6am yesterday. Following the meeting, the Russian defence ministry warned Turkey to stop engaging in "provocations". They said: "The Turkish military diplomat was given a tough explanation about the potentially disastrous consequences from Ankara's reckless actions towards Russia's military contingent fighting against international terrorism in Syria. "In particular, our deep concerns about more Turkish provocations towards the Russian destroyer Smetlivy were conveyed". Cavusoglu said Russia had already "put itself in a ridiculous position" with accusations by its President Vladimir Putin that Turkey had shot down the jet to protect oil supplies from Islamic State."No-one believed it" he said. He also criticized Russia's military intervention in Syria, saying it was aimed at propping up the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, not combating Islamic State. "Unfortunately Russia is not in Syria to fight terrorists", he said, adding that only 8 percent of its air strikes had been aimed at Islamic State while 92 percent were against other groups hostile to Assad. Cavusoglu also said air strikes were not sufficient to defeat Islamic State and soldiers on the ground were necessary, according to the interview. This latest incident has occured just weeks after Turkey downed a Russian fighter jet in controversial circumstances over Syria. A Russian pilot was killed as he parachuted to the ground following the attack last month, while a rescuer also died during an operation to save the other pilot. Turkey say that the Russian jet entered their airspace despite receiving ten warnings in five minutes, while Russia say that they did not cross the border and no warnings were received.