Russia will continue cooperating with the United States and its partners to fight the Islamic State in Syria, but that cooperation will be in jeopardy if there are any repeats of Turkey’s shooting down of a Russian jet, Russia’s Vladimir Putin said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday during a news conference that the United States knew the flight path of the aircraft shot down by Turkey.
“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,” he said.
He said Russia’s military had passed on flight details to the Americans.
Putin then indirectly accused the US of colluding with Turkey to shoot down the plane.
“Why did we pass this information to the Americans? Either they were not controlling what their allies were doing, or they are leaking this information all over the place,” he said.
“And we proceed from the position that there will be no repeat of this, otherwise we’ll have no need of cooperation with anybody, any coalition, any country.”
(Reuters) Speaking after talks in the Kremlin with French President Francois Hollande, Putin voiced lingering anger at Turkey’s actions, saying he viewed the downing of the jet as an act of betrayal by a country Moscow had thought was its friend.
But he said he would order Russia’s military to intensify cooperation with the French armed forces – including exchanges of information about targets – and viewed that as part of creating a broader international coalition bringing together Russia and Western states.
“We are ready to cooperate with the coalition which is led by the United States. But of course incidents like the destruction of our aircraft and the deaths of our servicemen… are absolutely unacceptable,” Putin said at a news conference, standing alongside Hollande.
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