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Putin: Turkey 'will regret' Syria act

BBC News logo BBC News 12/3/2015

President Vladimir Putin (3 December) © AP President Vladimir Putin (3 December)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has castigated Turkey's leaders, warning that they will regret shooting down a Russian Su-24 bomber in Syria.

In a state of the nation speech, broadcast live on Russian television, he said that "if anyone thinks Russia's reaction will be limited to trade sanctions, they are deeply mistaken".

"We'll remind them again what they did - they will regret it."

Russia's fight against "terrorists" came top in his speech to parliament.

At the start he praised the widows of the two Russian servicemen killed in the Su-24 incident in Syria. The widows were sitting in the Kremlin audience for his speech.

There was also a minute's silence for Russian victims of terrorism, including the 224 who died when a bomb blew up a Russian airliner over Egypt's Sinai desert on 31 October.

Jihadist militants from Islamic State (IS) said their "Sinai Province" associates had planted the bomb.

'Punishment from Allah'

In his speech Mr Putin again accused the Turkish government of sheltering and covertly supporting IS militants.

Turkey insists that its F-16 fighters shot down the Su-24 because the bomber had trespassed into its airspace.

Mr Putin scorned them, saying "probably Allah alone knows why they did it.

"And evidently Allah decided to punish the ruling clique in Turkey, by depriving it of any reason or logic."

He said he was making a clear distinction between the Turkish leadership and Russia's "many longstanding and reliable friends in Turkey".

Russia has announced wide-ranging sanctions against Turkey because of the 24 November border clash, including an import ban on Turkish fruit, vegetables and some other foods.

Russians can no longer go on package holidays to Turkey - until this month the top foreign destination for Russian tourists.

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