Trudeau won't 'point fingers' after Turkey shoots down Russian jet
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada and other countries must work together to de-escalate tensions between Moscow and Ankara after Turkey shot down a Russian warplane, but he doesn’t want to “point fingers to one side or another.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned of "significant consequences” after Turkey shot down the Su-24 bomber on Tuesday. Turkey claims the Russian aircraft had crossed into its airspace from Syria and ignored repeated warnings.
Asked Wednesday whether he agrees with U.S. President Barack Obama that Turkey had a right to defend itself, Trudeau said it’s not “entirely clear” right now what exactly occurred.
Russia has denied that its warplane entered Turkey’s airspace.
“I certainly don’t think that it’s helpful to start off by me choosing to point fingers to one side or another,” Trudeau told reporters in London, where he met with the Queen and U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron.
“I think what’s extremely important is that we call for calm, that we work together, that we stand by our NATO ally, absolutely,” Trudeau added.
But he said the international community has to ensure that “this incident doesn’t escalate into more such incidents.”
Putin has already ordered state-of-the art air defence missile systems to be deployed at a Russian air base in Syria in response to Turkey’s decision to shoot down the warplane.
Russia’s missile systems will be sent to the Hemeimeem air base in Syria's coastal province of Latakia, located about 50 kilometres south of the border with Turkey.
If Russia shot down a Turkish plane, NATO would be required to intervene.
With files from The Associated Press