Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday he’d resign if Russia proved its claim that Turkey is involved in illegal oil trading with the “Islamic State” (IS) militant organisation.
Russia’s Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov accused Turkey of shooting down the Russian plane to protect their oil supply lines with IS.
“Turkey is the main consumer of the oil stolen from its rightful owners, Syria and Iraq. According to information we’ve received, the senior political leadership of the country – President Erdogan and his family – are involved in this criminal business,” Antonov told reporters in Moscow.
Turkish-Russian relations were wrecked following Turkey’s downing of the Russian warplane on the Syrian-Turkish border on 24 November.
Erdogan however said the military jet actually violated Turkish airspace, asserting that his country doesn’t buy oil from terrorists and that it obtains its gas and oil through legal means.
The Turkish president declared that he’d resign if Moscow’s allegations were proven to be true, urging Russian President Vladimir Putin to step down as well if he failed to prove his claims.
“As soon as such a claim is proved, the nobility of our nation requires [me] to do this,” the Turkish President said in a press conference. “I am asking Mr. Putin – would you stay?”
Following the downing of the plane, Putin described the incident as a “stab in the back by the accomplices of terrorists”, saying that it will have serious consequences for Russia’s relations with Turkey.