"OSCE should assess Ankara's act as de facto aggression"
Aleksandr Chepurin hopes the OSCE will give a principled assessment that Ankara committed a de facto act of aggression when it shot down a Russian military jet.Source: Beta, Politika, Tanjug
Russia is satisfied with the close cooperation on all levels during Serbia's OSCE presidency and its crucial role in tackling the Ukrainian crisis in which Serbians have shown great political and diplomatic skill, the Russian ambassador told Belgrade-based daily Politika.
Chepurin said that Russia's military engagement in Syria is in line with international law, and stressed that the Su-24 that Turkey shot down, when its pilot was killed, at no point jeopardized that country's security.
Asked whether the bomber's downing was "the start of a wider conflict between Moscow and NATO," the ambassador reminded that Turkey is a member of the western military alliance, "and the biggest member beside the U.S." - and that he did not hear a clear assessment that such attacks are impermissible, nor guarantees they will not happen in the future, "either from Ankara or from Brussels."
He said that Russia respects Belgrade's foreign policy aimed at both the EU integration and cherishing friendly ties with Russia, noting that NATO membership is not among the EU accession criteria.
Speaking about the changing economic relations between Russia and Turkey in the wake of the shooting down of the Russian bomber, and Moscow's decision to introduce some sanctions, the diplomat said it will positively influence strengthening of economic cooperation with his country's traditional friends, including Serbia.
"Additional opportunities are opening up in the Russian market in construction, manufacturing and food sectors. It is important to create effective mechanisms for that cooperation." said Chepurin.