Putin: Turkey Shot Down Jet to Protect ISIL Oil Supply
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Ankara of shooting down a Russian warplane to protect supplies of oil from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group to Turkey.
"We have every reason to think that the decision to shoot down our plane was dictated by the desire to protect the oil supply lines to Turkish territory," Putin said during a news conference on Monday on the fringes of UN climate talks near Paris.
"We have received additional information which unfortunately confirms that this oil, produced in areas controlled by [ISIL] and other terrorist organizations, is transported on an industrial scale to Turkey," Al Jazeera reported.
Putin's strongly worded statement came hours after Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu again refused to apologize for the downing of the plane near the Syrian border last Tuesday.
Moscow and Ankara have been at loggerheads over last Tuesday's incident when Turkish jets shot down a Russian warplane near the Syrian border.
Turkish authorities claim the Russian jet crossed into Turkey's airspace prior to being shot down, while Russian authorities vehemently deny those claims.
Russia has hit back hard, slapping Turkey with a series of sanctions over the weekend - including bans on Turks' labour contract extensions, chartered flights from Russia to Turkey and tourism packages to Turkey.
Monday was not the first time that Putin has said that Turkey buys oil from ISIL.
Last Thursday, the Russian leader said there was "no doubt" oil from "terrorist-controlled" territory in Syria was making its way across the border into Turkey - a claim immediately denied by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Moscow's surprise intervention in the nearly five-year-old Syrian civil war in September wrong-footed the West and put Turkey, which shares a long border with Syria, directly at odds with Russian support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government.