Russia will pull out of the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State in Syria if there is a repeat of the shooting down of its fighter jet by Turkey, Vladimir Putin has warned.
Speaking after talks in the Kremlin with French President Francois Hollande, Putin expressed lingering anger at Turkey’s actions, saying he viewed the downing of the jet as an act of betrayal by a country Moscow had thought was its friend.
And while Putin said Moscow was ready to keep cooperating with Western powers against the “mutual enemy” of ISIS, he said the downing of the jet by Turkey this week was “unacceptable.”
“We are ready to cooperate with the coalition which is led by the United States. But of course incidents like the destruction of our aircraft and the deaths of our servicemen … are absolutely unacceptable,” Putin said at a news conference with Hollande.
“And we proceed from the position that there will be no repeat of this, otherwise we’ll have no need of cooperation with anybody, any coalition, any country.”
The Russian leader said, under the cooperation already established with the US-led coalition, Russia’s military had passed on details of the flight plan of the jet that was shot down this week.
“Why did we pass this information to the Americans?” Putin said. “Either they were not controlling what their allies were doing, or they are leaking this information all over the place.”