Moscow, Nov 22 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Russia cautioned Thursday against Turkey's intention to deploy NATO Patriot missiles on its border with Syria.
"The militarisation of the Turkish−Syrian border would be an alarming signal," said Russian foreign ministry spokesperson Alexander Lukashevich. "It would do nothing to foster stability in the region."
"Our advice to our Turkish colleagues is to use their influence on the Syrian opposition to draw them closer to dialogue, instead of flexing their muscles and taking the situation down a dangerous path," he added.
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Wednesday that Turkey's request to deploy the missiles would be considered soon.
Ankara says the missile system is necessary to protect its border with conflict−torn Syria.
US Patriot surface−to−air missiles were last deployed in Turkey in 1991 and 2003, during the two Gulf Wars.
Tensions between Turkey and Syria flared dangerously this summer after Damascus shot down a Turkish fighter that had violated its airspace.
Turkey threatened retaliation if there was any repeat of the incident, although it admitted the plane had mistakenly strayed slightly into Syria.