Turkey has closed its airspace to Russian civilian and army planes flying to Syria, Overseas Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu was quoted as saying Saturday by native media.
The announcement marks one of many strongest responses so far by Turkey, which has cultivated shut ties with Moscow regardless of being a member of the NATO defence alliance, to Russia’s two-month army assault on Ukraine.
“We closed the airspace to Russia’s army planes — and even civilian ones — flying to Syria. That they had till April, and we requested in March,” Turkish media quoted Cavusoglu as saying.
Cavusoglu stated he conveyed the choice to his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, who then relayed it to President Vladimir Putin.
“One or two days later, they stated: Putin has issued an order, we is not going to fly anymore,” Cavusoglu was quoted as telling Turkish reporters aboard his aircraft to Uruguay.
Cavusoglu added that the ban would keep in place for 3 months.
There was no instant response to Turkey’s announcement from Russia, which along with Iran has been an important supporter of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the course of the war-torn nation’s civil battle.
Turkey has backed Syrian rebels in the course of the battle.
Ankara’s relations with Moscow briefly imploded after Turkey shot down a Russian warplane close to the Turkish-Syrian border in 2015.
(Aside from the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV employees and is printed from a syndicated feed.)