Turkish President Recep Erdogan has challenged President Vladimir Putin to prove allegations that Turkey downed a Russian jet to protect oil supplies from the Islamic State, or resign from his post, the state-run TASS news agency reported Monday.
Speaking on the sidelines of a United Nations climate conference in Paris on Monday, Erdogan refuted Putin's allegations that Turkey was buying oil from the Islamic State — a militant group banned in Russia.
"If the [allegations] are proven, I will not stay in office,” Erdogan was cited as saying. " So I ask our honorable Putin, would he stay?”
Relations between the two countries have hit a post-Cold War low after Turkey last week downed a Russian Su-24 fighter jet on the border with Syria.
Putin on Monday called the downing “a huge mistake” and accused Turkey of being “accomplices of terrorists.”
"We have received additional data which confirm that Islamic State oil ... is supplied to Turkey," Putin said. "The decision to shoot down the plane was dictated specifically by a desire to defend supplies,” he was cited as saying by TASS in a separate report.
Since the plane was downed, Moscow has retaliated by canceling a visa-free regime with Turkey and imposing an import ban on Turkish produce.