Lavrov Demands Answer from Turkey on Grounding of the Russian Plane
October 24, 2012 • 11:24PM

In an interview with Rossiskaya Gazeta on Oct.23, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made clear that Russia would seek clarity from Turkey on the grounding of the Damascus-bound Russian plane on Oct. 10. He also wants Turkey to publicly acknowledge that there were no weapons aboard the detained plane.

Besides making allegations that the plane was carrying arms for the Syrian regime, Turkey also did not inform Russia about what was happening to 17 Russians on board.

"According to Turkish newspapers, information that the plane was allegedly carrying weapons had been passed along by the Americans. The Turks would have never dared do such a thing, had they not trusted the Americans 100%. But as it turned out later, there were no weapons on board. The plane was carrying electrical equipment for radars fully legal cargo not prohibited by any international conventions. The tip-off was actually meant to strengthen the Turkish-American ties with regard to Syria. But there is a mechanism of political consultations between Russia and Turkey. Having received such information, the Turks could have held consultations with Moscow and then the incident could have been prevented," Lavrov said.

He also made clear that since Russia and Turkey are close neighbors with good relations of a strategic nature, such an incident, instigated by outsiders, should not be allowed to mar Russian-Turkish relations.