Lithuanian defence and National Security chairman blames Russia for Turkey incident

  • 2015-11-24

Following the shooting down of a Russian Air Force Sukhoi SU-24 bomber over Turkish airspace, Arturas Paulauskas, the chairman of the Lithuanian parliamentary National Security and Defense Committee, said "there would be certain tensions," and noted that Turkey had repeatedly warned Russia against flying above its territory.

"The warnings were rather categorical,” Palauskas told BNS on November 24 - the day of the downing. “They didn't listen, so Turkey had nothing left to do than to do what it had threatened to do. 

“From the situation we know, they [the pilots] to blame for flying, for refusing to answer inquiries and for ignoring the proposal to land. 

“It seems to me that the Turkish air defence did the right thing.” 

Meanwhile, Lithuania's Defence Minister Juozas Olekas, echoed Paulauskas’ comments by adding “there was a certain background” to the incident. 

"I see this as a very serious incident, however, there was a certain background to it,” Olekas told journalists in the Lithuanian parliament on November 24. “Turkey had repeatedly warned Russia about its plans to defend its air space, however, there were more violations. Turkey had also previous shot down a drone [on October 16].”

"As far as we know, the bomber's pilots ignored the instructions of Turkish pilots who consequently took measures to defend their country's air space. 

“We have to wait and get the details, Turkey will present its data at the council of NATO ambassadors, and I expect a data exchange with Russia," Olekas concluded.