OTTAWA – Canada’s NATO ambassador says Russia has repeatedly fallen short of its commitment to inform Turkey of its bombing runs over Syria in the weeks leading to Tuesday’s downing of one of its jets by Turkish forces.
Ambassador Kerry Buck tells The Canadian Press that Canada is actively engaged with various countries, including Russia, to strengthen the communication protocols to prevent future incidents.
Buck also says Russia needs to join western forces in attacking Islamic militants, instead of bombing ethnic Turkmen in Syria, whom she described as a moderate opposition to Syrian President Bashar Assad.
The ambassador was in Tuesday’s emergency meeting of the North Atlantic Council, which Turkey called after it shot down a Russian plane that crossed into its airspace near the Syrian border.
It was the first downing of a Russian plane by a NATO country in more than half a century and marked a dangerous escalation in the long-running tension between the Kremlin and the 28-country military alliance.
Buck says NATO supports Turkey’s version of events, but wants to work towards lowering the heated rhetoric the incident has spawned.