Turkey-Russia Boiling Point: Will Putin Retaliates for Downing Jet?

Turkey-Russia Boiling Point: Will Putin Retaliates for Downing Jet?
Sun Nov 29, 2015 17:22:03

Russian president Vladimir Putin has ordered sanctions against Turkey as tensions between the two nations reach boiling point.

President Putin today called for a ban on Turkish goods, and demanded extensions of labour contracts for Turks working in Russia be forbidden - just days after Turkey downed a Russian warplane.

The decree, published on the Kremlin website, also called for ending chartered flights from Russia to Turkey and for Russian tourism companies to stop selling vacation packages that would include a stay in Turkey.

A final blow will see an end to visa-free travel between Russia and Turkey, as well as the tightening of control over Turkish air carriers in Russia "for security reasons".

It did not specify which Turkish goods are to be outlawed from the country.

The sanctions came as Turkey expressed its first hint of regret over the Russian jet incident, with its president declaring the country has been left “truly saddened”.

A fierce war of words was sparked this week after a Russian Su-24 bomber was hit on the Syrian/Turkish border, killing one of the pilots on board.

Turkey had insisted the warplane was told to change its route, but the surviving pilot retaliated to their claim by declaring no warnings were made.

Russia also claimed their plane was not over Turkish airspace when the jet was shot down, an allegation denied by Turkey as the country also insisted it did not know the jet was Russian.

But now Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has for the first time voiced regret over the incident as he said his country “wish it hadn't happened”.

Addressing supporters in the western city of Balikesir, he said: "We are truly saddened by this incident".

Mr Putin’s foreign affairs adviser said the Kremlin had received Mr Erdogan's request for a meeting, but refused to say whether the pair would talk.

"When asked why President Putin had not responded to the Turkish present’s phone calls, Yuri Ushakov said: We have seen that the Turkish side hasn't been ready to offer an elementary apology over the plane incident."

Following the incident, Russia deployed long-range S-400 air defence missile systems to a Russian air base in Syria to help protect Russian warplanes.


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