Russia: Turkey Should Pay Compensation for Downed Jet

MOSCOW (AP) -
Posters showing a portrait of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and reading "Wanted," "Erdogan, Turkey," are left after a protest at the Turkish Embassy in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015. Protesters have hurled eggs and stones at the Turkish embassy in Moscow a day after Turkey shot down a Russian warplane Tuesday near the Syrian border. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)
Posters showing a portrait of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and reading “Wanted,” “Erdogan, Turkey,” are left after a protest at the Turkish Embassy in Moscow, Russia, Nov. 25. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

A top Russian diplomat says Turkey should pay compensation for the Russian warplane it shot down near the Syrian border last month.

The downing of the Su-24 and the deaths of two Russian servicemen have strained the traditionally warm relations between the two countries.

Deputy Foreign Minister Alexei Meshkov told state news agency RIA Novosti on Wednesday that it still expects Ankara to apologize, pay the compensation and provide guarantees that it will never happen again.

The Russian Su-24 was on a bombing mission near the Turkish-Syrian border when it was shot down on Nov. 24. Turkey said the jet violated its airspace, a claim that Moscow has denied.

At the same time, Turkey accused Russia of playing up a military threat from Ankara that does not exist.

“Russia’s military elements have been acting for some time as if there is a perceived threat from Turkey, which is an exaggerated situation and has nothing to do with reality,” Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgic said at a briefing.

“Turkey is not acting in an aggressive way towards Russia’s military targets and our main hope is not to escalate the tensions.”

Bilgic also rejected the call for compensation, saying, “It is not possible to meet Russia’s demands.”

On Sunday, Russia warned Turkey to stop staging what it called provocations against its forces in or near Syria after one of its warships fired warning shots at a Turkish vessel in the Aegean to avoid a collision.