Russia has accused Turkey of violating Greek airspace thousands of times a year, with the most recent intrusion allegedly taking place on Nov. 25. Citing a diplomatic source in Athens, Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported that six Turkish jets intruded into Greek airspace, with two of those carrying weapons.
Despite being NATO partners, Greece and Turkey have been longtime adversaries. Greece earlier expressed solidarity with Russia when Turkey downed a Russian jet for allegedly violating Turkish airspace on Nov. 24.
Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias criticized Turkey’s move to Sergei Lavrov, his Russian counterpart.
“Athens agrees with the Russian president’s assessment on Ankara’s hostile actions, which are contrary to the goals of the anti-ISIS coalition,” the Russian foreign ministry said, about Greece’s stance.
According to RIA Novosti, Greece’s general staff said that the Turkish Air Force had not violated Greek airspace on the day Turkish authorities shot down the Russian jet. It was the first time in a long period when Turkey did not make any violation of Greek airspace.
“There was zero activity of Turkish aviation in Greek FIR in the Aegean Sea, and it is understandable why,” a diplomatic source in Athens reportedly said.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras earlier posted multiple tweets addressed to his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu.
"To Prime Minister Davutoglu: Fortunately our pilots are not mercurial as yours against the Russians #EuTurkey," the New York Times quoted the tweet, which was later deleted.
“You--to violate our airspace, we--to intercept you #EUTurkey," the Greek prime minister told Davutoglu.
While Greece has repeatedly accused Turkey of airspace violations, Ankara has denied the allegations.