Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov
Moscow will not forget Turkey's role in 'aiding terrorists', Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with “Limes,” an Italian magazine, the TASS news agency reported Thursday.
Russia has repeatedly expressed concerns about the terrorist threat in Turkey and the unwillingness of the Turkish authorities to cooperate in the fight against terrorists, Lavrov said.
Despite Moscow's requests, Ankara — with rare exceptions — refuses to detain and hand over Russian citizens traveling through Turkey to the Middle East and North Africa to join extremist groups, Lavrov added.
According to Lavrov, the “moment of truth” for all sides came when Turkey downed a Russian warplane on the Turkish-Syrian border in November last year.
“It's necessary to be clear whether we are against terror and jointly fighting against this evil or if the statements adopted in Vienna during the two meetings of the International Syria Support Group are non-binding declarations and camouflage, covering selfish geopolitical goals in Syria and secret ties with terrorists,” he was quoted as saying by TASS.
Lavrov also said the shootdown incident was an “unprecedented challenge” for Russia and pointed out that Moscow hadn't received any official apology from Turkey.