MOSCOW, Russia (AFP) – Moscow has recovered the black box of the Russian jet downed by Turkey last month and will analyse it with foreign specialists, President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday.
“I ask you not to open it for the time being,” Putin told defence minister Sergei Shoigu at a meeting during which he was presented with the black box, Russian news agencies reported.
“Open it only together with foreign experts, carefully determine everything.”
Moscow and Ankara are locked in their worst crisis since the Cold War over the November 24 downing of a Russian jet on Turkey’s border with Syria, sparking fury and economic sanctions from the Kremlin.
Shoigu said the territory where the Russian jet was shot down had been “liberated” by Syrian special forces, allowing them to recover the black box from what had been a rebel-held area.
Putin said an analysis of the black box would help determine the downed jet’s flight path and position, which Ankara and Moscow have furiously disagreed upon.
Turkey says the Russian jet strayed into its airspace and ignored repeated warnings, while Moscow insists it did not cross from Syria and has accused Ankara of a planned provocation.
But Putin warned that no black box findings could assuage Moscow’s anger at Ankara over the incident.
“Whatever we learn (from the black box) won’t change our attitude to what the Turkish authorities did,” the Russian strongman said.
“We used to treat Turkey not only as our friend but also as an ally in the fight against terrorism, and nobody expected this low, treacherous stab in the back.”