The Syrian passenger aircraft forced to land in Turkey did not carry any weapons but had some spare parts for Syrian radars, the Russian Foreign Minister has said.
“There were, of course, no weapons on the plane and could not have been any,” Sergei Lavrov told journalists in Moscow on Friday.
“The plane carried electro-technical parts for radars, which is dual purpose equipment, but is not banned by any international conventions,” the Russian Foreign Minister added.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had earlier alleged that the aircraft had military equipment and ammunition on board.
Moscow said on Friday it had not received any reply from Ankara to its demand for explanation on the airliner’s detention which “put to risk” the lives of 17 Russian citizens travelling from Moscow to Damascus.
Analysts said Turkey had blundered by forcing the airliner to land on its territory and confiscating its cargo without calling Russian or any other third-party officials.
“They can now claim they have found nuclear or biological weapons, but they can’t prove anything,” said Yevgeny Satanovsky of Russia’s Institute of Middle East Studies.