In annual press conference, Putin rails against Turkey

World Today

Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterated his anger at Turkey for downing its fighter jet last month during his annual press conference on Friday.

CCTV’s Julia Lyubova reports.
Follow Julia Lyubova on Twitter @julialyubova

In annual press conference, Putin rails against Turkey

Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterated his anger at Turkey for downing its fighter jet last month during his annual press conference on Friday

During the remarks, Putin said there were no prospects for a revival of the Russian-Turkish relationship and made it clear that Moscow is set on punishing Ankara.

“We believe that the actions by the Turkish authorities with respect to our plane which they shot down, were not unfriendly but an act of enmity,” Putin said, adding “I don’t understand why they did it. What have they achieved? Did they think that we would run away from there? Of course not. Russia is not that kind of country.”

But while the president lashed out at Turkey’s leadership, there was a notable change in his rhetoric towards the U.S. He said he wants to see improved relations with the U.S. He also said he backs a U.S. draft resolution at the U.N. on Syria that aims to block funding to the terror group ISIL.

“We support the initiative of the United States including the one on preparation of the U.N. Security Council resolution on Syria. It is this draft resolution that the Secretary of State brought with him. In general we agree with it, I think Syrian authorities will also agree with it when they look through the draft,” Putin said.

Putin’s comments followed a visit to Moscow by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry this week and come on the eve of an international meeting at the U.N. in New York on Friday to discuss Syria. But experts said it’s too optimistic to talk about a true warming of relations between Russia and the US.

“Now this is rhetoric, and as rhetoric goes it certainly sounded different, whether policy will be different, remains to be seen,” said Masha Lipman, a political analyst. “The rift between the two countries has become very broad over the past year and a half, two years. The tone before this press conference was very anti-American,” Lipman said.

In his wide-ranging press conference, the Russian leader also admitted for the first time that Russian military specialists were operating in Eastern Ukraine but at the same time denied Russian ground troops were fighting there.

Vladimir Golstein discusses Putins annual press conference

For more on what was said at Russian president Putin’s annual press conference, CCTV America’s Susan Roberts was joined by Vladimir Golstein, an associate professor of Slavic Studies at Brown University.