Turkey says its patience with Russia "has a limit"

Published: December 14, 2015
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Russia's diesel-electric submarine Rostov-on-Don is escorted by a Turkish Navy Coast Guard boat as it sets sail in the Bosphorus, on its way to the Black Sea, in Istanbul, Turkey, December 13, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

Russia's diesel-electric submarine Rostov-on-Don is escorted by a Turkish Navy Coast Guard boat as it sets sail in the Bosphorus, on its way to the Black Sea, in Istanbul, Turkey, December 13, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

ROME: Turkey’s foreign minister said Ankara’s patience with Russia “has a limit” after Moscow’s “exaggerated” reaction to a weekend naval incident between the two countries, an Italian newspaper reported on Monday.

A Russian destroyer fired warning shots at a Turkish vessel in the Aegean on Sunday to avoid a collision and summoned the Turkish military attache over the incident.

Russia says fired warning shots at Turkish ship in Aegean to avoid collision

“Ours was only a fishing boat, it seems to me that the reaction of the Russian naval ship was exaggerated,” Mevlut Cavusoglu told Italian daily Corriere della Sera in an interview.

“Russia and Turkey certainly have to re-establish the relations of trust that we have always had, but our patience has a limit,” Cavusoglu said.

The incident is likely to heighten tensions between the two nations who are at odds over Syria and Turkey’s downing of a Russian warplane last month.

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.

Turkey foreign minister calls on Russia for calm, says patience not unlimited

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 per cent 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.

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Reader Comments (1)

  • Stranger
    Dec 14, 2015 - 3:04PM

    Will you two big great forces please with draw from Syria and nearby regions . that itself will be a great relief and things will become OK in a few days time . Recommend

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