Beijing: Russia is very likely to strike back, warned a state-run Chinese daily over the downing of a Russian fighter jet by Turkey. It added that the Kremlin's next move will influence the future development of this emergency.
An editorial "Moscow-NATO ties tested amid uncertainty" in the Global Times on Thursday said that the whole world has been talking about Turkey's downing of a Russian warplane on Tuesday.
"On the one hand, it is highly likely that Russia will seek revenge, and the situation is fluid. On the other, the overall situation is more likely to be still under control, with the chance that mutual retaliation between Russia and Turkey could escalate into an all-out confrontation between Russia and NATO being very low," said the daily.
Russia-NATO relations have deteriorated recently, "but we could not foresee that long-lasting tension would break out on the Turkey-Syria border in this way. Whether Ankara got into trouble accidentally or made a timely move for NATO is an interesting question. Only time can tell the answer".
The daily said that Turkey is not a leading member of NATO, "but has called Russia's bluff. This is irritating Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Kremlin's next move will influence the future development of this emergency".
Many believe the incident will not get messier.
"Nevertheless, Ankara's slap in the face to Moscow was powerful, which made the entire Russian society feel ashamed. If Putin does nothing, it will be illogical in terms of the country's authoritarian politics. Therefore, Russia is very likely to strike back," said the editorial.
It went on to say that there are also other possibilities, "such as mediation by influential powers from Europe, which can provide Russia a graceful way to back out of the deadlock".