After a Turkish warplane shot a Russian fighter jet out of the sky, a prominent leftist politician has called for the immediate cancellation of Russian flights to Turkey.
In an incident that could have grave consequences for relations between NATO and Russia, Turkish jets shot down a Russian plane after apparently sending repeated warnings about airspace violations. Russia says it can prove that its plane never left Syrian airspace, and now the head of the Fair Russia party has called for a ban on flights to Turkey, according to RT.
Downing of Russian warplane could lead to Turkey flight ban
Nikolai Levichev wrote a letter to the head of the Federal Air Transport Agency, Aleksandr Neradko, claiming that the increased risk of terror attacks justified the cancellation of flights.
“I am asking you to consider the possibility of an immediate ban on all air traffic between Russia and Turkey that would last until exhaustive measures are taken to eliminate any possible sources of terrorist threats in Turkish airports,” read the letter.
Levichev later highlighted that Turkish Airlines runs flights from a number of airports categorized as being at an increased risk of terror attacks. “As the current attitude of the Turkish authorities to the Islamic State terrorist group can hardly be called negative, there is a risk that terrorists would infiltrate Turkish airports, which would put Russian aircraft in danger,” the MP wrote.
Egypt set precedent for flight ban after terror attack
Turkey has come in for criticism for its attitude towards the Islamic State, with some observers claiming that its policies provide at least tacit support to the militant group. Turkey is a member of NATO, and with tensions between the military alliance and Russia already bubbling this latest incident could have grave consequences.
President Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov said that the shooting of the Russian plane is “a very serious incident,” but refrained from drawing any conclusions while the incident remained under investigation.
In the immediate aftermath of the Islamic State bomb attack on a Russian passenger plane in Egypt, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the suspension of flights to and from the country. Following the immediate ban it was announced that direct flights by Egyptian airlines from Egypt to Russia would be banned until 2016.
While a ban on civilian flights to and from Turkey would be a blow to business, there are more pressing concerns after a NATO member shot down a Russian plane.