US urges Russia to respect Turkey, NATO airspace

The US Department of Defense has urged Russia to respect North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) airspace, saying it “can confirm” reports that a Russian jet violated Turkey’s airspace earlier this week.

“We are aware of reports and can confirm that yesterday another Russian combat aircraft violated Turkish — and NATO – airspace,” Pentagon spokesman Mark Wright told Russia’s RIA Novosti in a statement Saturday.

“We call on Russia to respect Turkish airspace and cease activities that risk further heightening instability in the region,” Wright continued.

Wright also stressed the need for Russia and Turkey to “talk to each other and take measures to prevent escalation.”

The Turkish Defense Ministry claimed that a Russian Su-34 bomber violated the country’s air space on Friday, adding that the plane was warned by radar units.

The report prompted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to react, warning Russia of “consequences” if such violations continue.

Shortly after, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg expressed solidarity with Turkey, calling on Russia “to act responsibly and to fully respect NATO airspace.”

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