Defense Ministry: Turkey systematically violates the open skies Treaty

Defense Ministry: Turkey systematically violates the open skies Treaty

MOSCOW, 5 February. Turkish aircraft in case of its involvement in Syria must fully adhere to the provisions of the Russian-American Memorandum on aviation safety, said Deputy Minister of defense Anatoly Antonov.

“Such assurances were received from the USA,” he said at a meeting with journalists. Antonov said that the United States was assured that the Turkish aircraft will adhere to the provisions of the Memorandum of safety in Syria.

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According to him, systematic abuses by Turkey of the provisions of the open skies Treaty set a precedent that cannot be the monitoring of military activities in one of the countries participating in the agreement. Earlier this week, Turkey refused to allow Russian observers in the conduct of the observation flight, he recalled. According to Antonov, this is not the first case of a breach of an international obligation on the part of Ankara.

“Since February 2013, the Turks closed to observe the position of the Patriot in the South of Turkey. In 2014, the support group of Turkey declared the impossibility to provide safety of flights in parts of its airspace, citing intense flights of combat aircraft engaged in anti-terrorist operations. In October 2015, Turkey recommended that “necessarily postpone” the Russian observation mission for the reason of transaction security, we went to meet him and suffered flight. In December 2015, the Turkish side is closed for Russian aircraft monitoring the airspace along the Syrian border and previously allocated for use for the purposes of the agreement, the airport Diyarbakir (the place of deployment of aircraft NATO)”, – has listed the Deputy Minister of defense.

Russia will not swerve cooperation

Antonov noted that Russia is not going to cease cooperation under the Treaty on open skies and the Vienna document, although some members of the OSCE are abusing the provisions of these agreements.

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“We are satisfied with this format, and our delegation is in Vienna, we see no need to turn there work,” he said.

However, Antonov acknowledged. “when we were developing these documents, it is not thought that the country would take steps bypass provisions of the instrument or the misuse of any of the provisions, abuse of right, misuse of the provisions of a number of documents to resolve their goals.”

The acceptance of the Memorandum on Syria

Antonov said that the military of Turkey, a member of the international coalition against “Islamic state” (banned in Russia organization), refused to accept the Memorandum on the safety of flights over Syria even before the attack on the Russian bomber su-24M. Last year, he recalled, American and Russian military signed a document designed to prevent collisions between aircrafts of the Russian Federation and a coalition led by the United States in the skies over Syria.

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“Under the Memorandum, the Americans pledged not only to inform all coalition members about the substance of the agreements but also to ensure that all the participants will be strictly guided by the provisions of this document. We have written confirmation from US that all the formalities in relationships with partners Washington completed,” – said Antonov.

“However, the Turkish military, which formally included in the American coalition, refused to confirm its commitment to the Memorandum, stating that the matter is within the competence of the foreign Ministry. Moreover, they unilaterally blocked the hotline, not responding to our urgent requests. Eventually, on 24 November, the Turkish air force was treacherously shot down a Russian bomber, Russian military servicemen were killed”, – said the Deputy Minister.

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Russia is making steps to coordinate with other actors in the fight against terrorists, Antonov recalled. In particular, he referred to the information centre in Baghdad, which brings together Russia, Iraq, Syria and Iran, as well as “interaction and operational ties with Israel, Jordan and other countries.”

Earlier it was reported that the Russian military has also initiated contacts with representatives of the Syrian opposition. In the General staff claimed that the actions of the opposition daily backed by Russian airstrikes, and data about each fifth goal of the aerospace forces of the Russian Federation provided the opposition.

The attack on the Russian plane

Russian su-24M was shot down by Turkish fighter F-16. One crew member died, another was saved, but during the rescue operation died of a marine-a soldier. Ankara has accused Russian aircraft in violation of airspace, but the defense Ministry rejected the accusations and called the attack on the bombers “planned action”.

As a result relations between the two countries deteriorated sharply. The Russian military has taken additional steps to ensure the safety of flights over Syria. In particular, immediately after the incident in Syria was deployed the latest anti-aircraft missile system s-400.

Russia conducts operations in Syria against terrorist groups such as Islamic state, from September 30, 2015, acting at the request of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The coalition led by the US strikes on militants in Syria and Iraq since 2014.