Dec 1, 2015

Russian jet ‘shot down to protect Islamic State oil trade’: Putin

Vladimir Putin has accused Ankara of shooting down a Russian warplane to protect supplies of oil from the Islamic State group to Turkey.
With no sign of tensions easing between Russia and Turkey, the Russian President told a news conference on the fringes of the UN climate talks in Paris: “We have every reason to think that the decision to shoot down our plane was dictated by the desire to protect the oil supply lines to Turkish territory.”
Turkey had earlier handed over the body of Oleg Peshkov, the pilot killed after the jet was shot down in a conciliatory gesture that brought hopes the tense relationship between the two countries might be eased.
That hope proved in vain, as did attempts by Barack Obama to lower tensions.
Mr Obama and Mr Putin met on the sidelines of the climate summit, with Mr Obama calling on both sides to “de-escalate” the situation.
A White House official said: “President Obama expressed his regret for the recent loss of a Russian pilot and crew member and reiterated the United States’ support for de-escalation between Russia and Turkey.”
Russia has pressed ahead with a string of sanctions against Turkey, including, a ban on hiring Turkish citizens from January 1 and a ban on package holidays to Turkey.

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