Vladimir Putin: Turkish nation remains our friend
Humanitarian contacts with the Turkish people will continue, despite the lack of prospects for improving relations with the current leadership of Turkey, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at his 11th annual press conference.
"It is necessary to continue contacts with people ethnically close to us. I say 'us' because the Turkic peoples are a part of Russia. In this sense, the Turkish people and other Turkic peoples remain our partners and friends," he said, noting the difference between inter-state relations and the private, humanitarian level of the two countries.
The Russian president admitted that he still does not understand why the Turkish leadership made a decision to shoot down a Russian plane and also explained the Russian position. "The action of the Turkish authorities in regard to our aircraft was not an act of unfriendliness, but an act of hostility: a military aircraft was shot down and people died. We were particularly outraged that if it had been an accident, and the Turkish authorities allegedly did not know that it was a Russian plane, what is to be done in such cases? But instead of calls and explanations, they immediately ran to Brussels to complain, NATO is nothing to do with it," he noted.
"We didn't refuse to cooperate with Turkey when I was in Antalya, the Turkish leadership even approached us with a delicate request, which doesn't fit into the context of the international law on the issues proposed by the Turkish side. But we said that we understand and will help them. We were not warned about the Turkish interests in this area. They could inform us through the military channels, but no one said anything, I do not understand why they did it," the head of the Russian state concluded.
According to him, Daesh already presented as a secondary factor in the conflict in the Middle East. "They entered Iraq, destroyed the country, then the elements linked with the oil trading appeared. They created a business, and of course they need a military power to protect smuggling. It's very convenient to use the Islamic factor to play with economic interests. That's how Daesh was created. Now the main stream is going through Iraq, I will ask the Defense Ministry to show it: we found 11 thousand fuel trucks," Vladimir Putin explained.