The Russian prime minister said that Russia had grounds to go to war after Turkey shot down a Russian plane last month.
“What did 20th-century countries used to do in a similar situation? A war began,” Dmitry Medvedev said on the ‘Talk to the Prime Minister” TV program, according to state-affiliated Russia Today.
Medvedev said Turkey “violated the norms of the international law,” giving Russia ample grounds to go to war if that’s the route the country’s top officials wanted to take.
But they didn’t, so no war was fought.
“That was a direct assault on a foreign state. In the present situation a war is the worst what could happen. That’s why a decision was taken not to give a symmetrical answer to what the Turks had done,” the PM explained.
However, Russia had to do something to punish Turkey for the action.
“Yet we had to make them understand they’re going to hold responsibility for their actions. Exactly for that reason and for the safety of our citizens the relevant decisions were taken,” Medvedev said regarding sanctions Russia has introduced against Turkey.
The threat of a war isn’t over, though. Russia has bolstered its presence in Syria near the border with Turkey, while Turkey has in turn sent troops and tanks to its border for protection.
Russia has repeatedly criticized Turkey for allegedly providing aid to terror group ISIS, and has responded to almost every move Turkey makes with comments if not countermoves. For instance, Russia said Turkey’s decision to deploy a limited number of troops to a military base near the ISIS stronghold of Mosul, Iraq was “illegal” and asked the United Nations to intervene.
Turkey, meanwhile, has been equally critical of Russia, with Turkish Premier Ahmet Davutoglu making the latest comments on December 9 when he accused Russia of carrying out a campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Turkmen minority in Syria, reported the Wall Street Journal.
Davutoglu said the move, though, has only served to strengthen the Islamic State.