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ISTANBUL, April 23: Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu Saturday announced that his country had closed its airspace to military and civilian aircraft on which Russia transports its soldiers to Syria. In statements to reporters on the plane to Uruguay, Cavusoglu said the license granted for three months from Ankara to Moscow to operate these flights expired in April.
Cavusoglu stated that he had discussed this issue last March during his visit to Moscow with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, who pledged to brief President Vladimir Putin on the subject. After a day or two, the Turkish Foreign Minister indicated that the Russian side informed Ankara that Putin had ordered the suspension of these flights.
Cavusoglu stressed that the dialogue between Turkey and Russia on the Montreux Agreement and other urgent issues continues, noting that Ankara’s decision to close the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits due to the conflict Ukraine applies not only to Russian military ships but also to those of NATO. Cavusoglu affirmed the Turkish firm’s position not to join the Western sanctions imposed on Russia over its military operation in Ukraine(KUNA)