World Bulletin / News Desk
Russia said on Friday that no weapons were aboard a Syrian civilian jet grounded by Turkish authorities on Wednesday and the plane had been carrying a legal shipment of radar equipment.
"We have no secrets." Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in a statement provided to Reuters by Russian state television.
"There were, of course, no weapons on the plane and could not have been any. There was a cargo on the plane that a legal Russian supplier was sending in a legal way to a legal customer," he told Russian state television.
Turkey's prime minister said on Thursday that the plane forced to land in Ankara en route from Moscow to Damascus on Wednesday, and later released, had been carrying Russian-made munitions destined for Syria's armed forces.
Syria's military and allied militia have killed thousands of civilians during a 19-month-old uprising that began with pro-democracy protests.
Lavrov said the cargo in question was "electro-technical equipment for a radar station", adding that it was of dual military-civilian use but was "not prohibited by international conventions".
"Shipping such a cargo on civilian aircraft is an absolutely normal practice," he said.
Lavrov said the supplier, which he did not name, would demand the return of the equipment "which is its property".
He said Russia was awaiting an official explanation of why Russian citizens aboard the plane were not given access to Russian diplomats while the aircraft was being held in Ankara. It later flew on to Damascus but the cargo was confiscated.
Lavrov said that Turkish authorities had contacted the pilot before the plane entered Turkish airspace and proposed that he change course or land in Ankara.
Russia has drawn Western condemnation for vetoing, along with China, three U.N. Security Council resolutions aimed to pressure Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to end the bloodshed.
Lavrov said in June that Russia, a longtime supplier of arms to Assad's government, is not delivering offensive weapons to Syria, and President Vladimir Putin said it is delivering no weapons that could be used in a civil conflict.
Turkey's president accused Europe of not doing its part to help share burden of refugees
Two British journalists were detained by Turkish security forces for allegedly having links to 'terrorist organization'
Turkish embassy in South Africa uses Victory Day celebrations in Pretoria to showcase country’s defense industry
Gut-wrenching photo of drowned Syrian boy washed up on beach in southern Turkey moves Turkish dailies Thursday
Two police injured and a third is in critical condition after they were attacked by a rocket in eastern Turkey
National Security Council statement calls for safety zone to resolve refugee crisis
General Assembly to hold extraordinary session Thursday to discuss motion to extend military mandate in Iraq and Syria
Turkish dailies cover police raid on Koza Ipek Holding, suspected of providing financial support to 'Gulenist Terror Organization'
Two F-16 jets destroyed PKK firing positions in area after one soldier was killed and two were wounded
Turkey and Iraq have launched a joint investigation to examine those responsible for the kidnap of 18 workers from Baghdad
Members of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) which is designated as a terrorist group, are believed to be behind the attack
Agency provides assistance to poor, victims of disasters, refugees from Syria whose numbers have swelled to about 2.5 million
EU calls for 'independent and transparent investigation' on two British journalists
Tuesday's dailies mainly cover the new rewards offered to those in Turkey who provide information regarding terrorists
An operation is currently underway with police raiding Koza-Ipek, a business that has close tiled to US based cleric Fethullah Gulen.
'Turkey, in terms of combating ISIL and dealing with the inflow of Syria refugees, has been above and beyond what we might expect,” says State Dept.