Ankara: Serbian president's statement unfortunate, untrue

The Serbian president's statement that Turkey tried to drag NATO and Russia into a war was "unfortunate and untrue," said the Turkish Foreign Ministry.

Source: B92

"It's an unfortunate statement. This statement has nothing to do with the truth," said ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgic.

According to him, Turkish leaders have clearly expressed their views about the downing of a Russian Su-24, and noted that "every country has the right to defend its sovereignty."

Nikolic said in an interview with Sputnik that "neither Russia nor NATO fell for it - but it was about dragging two great forces into a conflict over Syria."

According to the president, Turkey would violate Greece's airspace "40 times in one day," yet these incidents would not result in the shooting down of its planes.

"Every shooting down of airplanes entails unforeseeable negative consequences and Turkey must have known that, and I think it knew that, which is what hurts me the most," Nikolic said.

Turkish media are stressing in their reports that Nikolic spoke for the Russian outlet a day after the visit of Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (who arrived on his two-day visit on December 28).

But Sputnik's Serbian language desk said the interview was in fact published on December 26, and described the Turkish MFA's reaction as "spinning - because it came a week late and because Nikolic in the meanwhile met with Davutoglu in Belgrade," asking at the same time for an apology.

Nikolic on Tuesday received Davutoglu and later told Sputnik that he "decided to convey to our friends in Russia Turkey's desire to normalize relations."

"That was all. I did not accept to mediate, I just heard his proposal, which I think is good," Nikolic said.

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