NATO calls on Russia to respect Alliance's airspace

BRUSSELS, Jan 30 (KUNA) — A Russian combat aircraft violated Turkish airspace yesterday despite repeated warnings by Turkish authorities, while previous incidents have shown how dangerous such behaviour is, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said.
He called, in a statement Saturday night, on Russia “to act responsibly and to fully respect NATO airspace. Russia must take all necessary measures to ensure that such violations do not happen again.” The NATO chief welcomed the direct contacts between Ankara and Moscow, and called for calm and de-escalation.
Stoltenberg stressed that NATO stands in solidarity with Turkey and “supports the territorial integrity of our Ally, Turkey.” He added that allies agreed in December to increase the presence of AWACS early warning aircraft over Turkey, “as we continue to augment Turkeyآ’s air defences.” This decision precedes yesterdayآ’s incident.
Turkish foreign ministry earlier today summoned Russian Ambassador Andrey Karlov in protest over the breach of its airspace.
According to a ministry statement, A Russian SU-34 jet has violated Turkish airspace despite radar warnings in both Russian and English languages.
It also called on Moscow to act responsibly and to fully respect Turkey’s airspace and must take all necessary measures to ensure that such violations do not reoccur.
Turkey had shot down a Russian warplane last November in an incident that wrecked relations between the two countries, both of which are involved in Syria’s war. (end) nk.bs