Turkey Confirms Denying Russian Reconnaissance Plane Overflying Its Airspace

  • Our Bureau
  • 01:55 PM, February 4, 2016
  • 2778

Turkey has said that it refused to allow a Russian reconnaissance plane to overfly its territory near Syria citing disagreement over itinerary plan.

"An agreement could not be reached on the itinerary for the reconnaissance flight requested by the Russian Federation for 2-5 February 2016," Turkish foreign ministry was quoted as saying by AFP in a statement Thursday.

Moscow had said Wednesday that the Russian plane's itinerary had been transmitted to the Turkish army in advance but authorisation was refused with Ankara.

The 2002 Open Skies treaty, signed by over 30 nations including Russia, Turkey, the EU and the US, establishes a programme of unarmed aerial surveillance flights giving all participants the ability to gather information about military forces and activities of concern to them.

In an apparent bid to downplay the significance of the latest incident, the Turkish foreign ministry said Thursday it had allowed Russia to conduct a reconnaissance flight in December after Moscow changed the itinerary as requested by Ankara.

The latest salvo in an ongoing dispute between the two countries came some three months after Turkey shot down in November a Russian fighter jet on the Syrian border, sparking a war of words with Moscow which insisted its plane had not violated Turkish airspace.

Ankara on Saturday accused Moscow of a new violation of its airspace by a Russian Su-34 plane, a claim that Moscow dismissed as "baseless propaganda."

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