(CNN) — Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual press conference Thursday, called the Turkish downing of a Russian war plane “an enemy act.”
Turkish F-16s shot down the Russian Su-24 on November 24, saying the Russian plane was over Turkish airspace and ignored warnings to change course. One of the two Russian pilots was killed.
Putin said Turkey had other options.
“Would it not just have been easier just to pick up the phone?” he asked.
Putin also appeared to take aim at Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“There is a problem with the Turkish leadership,” Putin said.
He also rejected international effort to oust Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.
“Only the Syrian people can determine who can govern them,” Putin said.