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Russia seeks compensation for its downed plane

640px-Russian_Air_Force_Tupolev_Tu-22M3Russia has demanded payment for its warplane downed last month by Turkey near the Syrian border. A top Russian diplomat said yesterday that Turkey should pay compensation for the Russian warplane it shot down, a call Turkey had rejected.

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

Deputy Foreign Minister Alexei Meshkov said 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 with a two-man crew when it was shot down on November 24. One of the pilots was killed, while the second was rescued. A Russian marine was killed during the rescue operation.

Turkey said the jet violated its airspace but Moscow had denied that claim, saying that it would show the jet’s black box to international experts to prove its point.

In Ankara, a Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman, Tanju Bilgic has said that Moscow should not expect apology or compensation. “If (Russia) guarantees that there won’t be a violation of Turkish airspace, a similar incident won’t happen again.”

Earlier this month, Russia imposed economic sanctions on Turkey, including a ban on foodstuffs imports and recently took the issue of Turkey’s deployment of troops in Iraq to the U.N. Security Council.

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