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Russia Fires Warning Shots at Turkish Boat

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Turkish protesters shout anti-Russia slogans as they hold a poster of Russian President Vladimir Putin during a protest in Istanbul, Turkey, Nov. 27, 2015.  (AP Photo/Omer Kuscu)
Turkish protesters shout anti-Russia slogans as they hold a poster of Russian President Vladimir Putin during a protest in Istanbul, Turkey, Nov. 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Omer Kuscu)

Russia reported that it fired warning shots Sunday at a Turkish fishing boat in the Aegean Sea.

The Russian defense ministry said the crew of the military ship could not contact the fishing boat by radio. The fishing boat failed to respond to flares fired from the Russian ship, as well as other signals, the ministry said.

The statement said warning shots were fired when the fishing ship came as close as 600 meters from the Russian military ship.

Tension is high between Turkey and Russia. A Turkish jet downed a Russian military airplane along the Syrian border last month. A Russian airman died in the incident.

The Russian military has bombed Islamic State militants in Syria, say Russian officials. But some U.S. officials say Russia has bombed Syrians who oppose President Bashar al-Assad.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu spoke to Turkish reporters about the fishing boat incident.

The Turkish government will interview crew members of the fishing ship before making a formal statement, Cavusoglu said.

"We want to overcome tensions through dialogue," he added.

Sunday's incident was in the northern Aegean, about 22 kilometers from the Greek island of Lemnos, according to the Russian defense ministry.

(An earlier version of this story listed the wrong number of Russian airmen killed in the downing of one of its planes by a Turkish jet. One was killed. A second airman was rescued.)

This report was based on a story appearing on VOANews.com. Bruce Alpert adapted the story for Learning English. Kathleen Struck was the editor.

What do you think about this development? Please let us know in the Comments section and on our Facebook page, thanks!

Words in This Story

respond - v. to answer; to say something in reaction to something else

tension - n. a state in which people, groups, countries, etc., disagree with and feel anger toward each other

interview - v. to ask questions in an effort to gather information

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