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Russia Does Not Plan to Engage in War With Turkey, Foreign Minister Says

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

Russia is not planning to engage in war with Turkey, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with the state-owned Rossiya 24 television channel on Wednesday.

“We're not planning to start a war with Turkey, our attitude towards the Turkish nation hasn't changed, [but] we have questions about actions of the current Turkish leadership,” Lavrov said, the Kommersant newspaper reported.

He added that Russia has always aimed at “building practical, pragmatic relations with our Turkish neighbors — in the wake of the Syrian conflict, too.”

According to the minister, recommendations for Russians not to travel to Turkey were not a revenge for the downing of the Russian fighter-bomber Su-24. Rather, they were based on the level of danger of a terror attack.

Lavrov mentioned that his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu expressed his condolences over the deceased pilot of the Su-24 plane in a phone conversation.

On Tuesday, a Russian Su-24 fighter-bomber was downed by an air-to-air missile from a Turkish F-16 interceptor near the Turkish-Syrian border. Turkey said the jet had violated its airspace while Russia insisted that the plane was on the Syrian territory.

Commenting on the incident, Russian President Vladimir Putin said it would affect relations between the two countries.

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