Turkey-Russia Confrontation over Syrian Plane Incident
Cargo aboard Syrian plane detained in Turkey legal, sender demands its return - Lavrov
NOVO-OGARYOVO: The Russian sender of the cargo transported by a Syrian plane, which has been detained in Turkey, will demand the cargo be returned as shipping documents and cargo characteristics are not violating any laws, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said after the president had met with Russian Security Council members on Friday.
The minister stressed that Russia was expecting a Turkish reply to its question why Russian diplomats were denied access to Russian citizens who stayed aboard the plane at the moment of its detention.
“Concerning speculations on the Syrian jet incident, I would like to say we have no secrets,” the minister said.
“We have verified the case: the transportation of any armaments by that plane was out of the question,” he said.
“The plane was transporting cargo sent by a legal Russian supplier to a legal client in a legal way,” the minister said.
“It was electro-technical equipment for a radar station; the equipment had dual use but it was not banned by any international conventions, ” he said.
“Shipping documents fully complied with the requirements, ” Lavrov said.
“The transportation of such cargo by civilian aircraft is a customary practice, which is confirmed by the fact that before the Syrian plane entered the Turkish airspace, the Turkish authorities had offered it either to change the route or to land in Ankara,” Lavrov said.
“The pilot preferred to land; he knew he had nothing illegal on board,” he said.
“As far as we know, the sender will demand the return of the cargo – its property,” Lavrov said.
“We are expecting an official answer from Turkey on why Russian diplomats were not allowed to meet with the Russian citizens aboard that plane,” he said.