As tensions escalate over the downing of a Russian fighter jet on the Turkey/Syria border earlier this week by Turkish military forces, the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan has warned Russian President Vladimir Putin not to “play with fire”.
He said this in a live television broadcast on Friday, as the war of words between the two countries continue, Sky News reported.
The Russian authorities had asked their Turkish counterparts to tender an apology, while refusing to accept the explanation by the Turkish authorities that it did not know the downed jet was a Russian jet.
Erdogan has said he does not want to harm relations with the Russian government and would prefer “face-to-face” talks.
However, the Russian leader has refused to meet face to face with his Turkish counterpart if he does not first tender an apology for the downing of the jet.
Putin also said the claims by Turkey that it did not know the fighter jet was a Russian jet were false, as its ally in the war against Syria, the United States, was fully aware of the identity of the plane and its flight plan.
Sky News quoted Putin as saying “The American side, which leads the coalition that Turkey belongs to, knew about the location and time of our planes’ flights, and we were hit exactly there and at that time.”