Putin signs sanctions decree on Turkey

Russian President Vladimir Putin signs decree imposing economic sanctions on Turkey after downing of Russian fighter jet

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Updated Nov 29, 2015

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree officially enforcing economic sanctions against Turkey following the shooting down of a Russian fighter jet on the Turkish-Syrian border earlier this week.

Citing the reasons for the sanctions as to protect Russians "from criminal and other illegal activities" on the Kremlin’s website, the decree bans charter flights leaving Russia for Turkey, prohibits Turkish tourism sales, forbids certain Turkish imports and limits the economic activity of Turkish companies and individuals in Russia.

The list of Turkish goods to be boycotted is expected to be revealed on Monday, sources speaking to Russian media have said. They are likely to include food, agricultural products and textiles imported from Turkey.

Additionally, visa-free travel between Turkey and Russia will be lifted, the decree states.

Relations between the two countries soured on Tuesday when a Turkish F-16 shot down a Russian Su-24 jet which was bombing Syrian opposition forces in Latakia, near the Turkish province of Hatay, after it failed to heed 10 warnings in five minutes.

According to the Turkish authorities, the plane had violated Turkish airspace for 17 seconds before being shot down, but Russia denied the jet ever left Syrian airspace.

One of two Russian pilots was shot dead in mid-air by Syrian Turkmen opposition forces after ejecting, while another Russian soldier was killed during a rescue operation to save the other pilot when the Turkmen forces blew up their helicopter.

The incident marked the worst confrontation between Russia and a NATO-member since the end of the Cold War.

Although Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he was “saddened” by the incident and that Turkey would have been more cautious had it known the jet belonged to Russia, he has refused to yield to Putin’s demand for an apology.

Putin, meanwhile, said he would not accept Erdogan’s request for a meeting until an apology is made, and denied Turkish claims that the identity of the jet was not known. Thus far, Putin has refused to answer two phone calls made by Erdogan since the incident.  

Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov acknowledged Erdogan’s request to meet Putin on the sidelines of an upcoming climate change conference in Paris, Peskov did not clarify whether or not Putin would be meeting with the Turkish leader.

Peskov also said that Putin was ready for a long standoff with Turkey and that the Russian leader was "fully mobilized" to deal with the perceived “threat” posed by Turkey.

Russia, which has been carrying out air strikes in Syria since Sept. 30 under the guise that it is targeting the DAESH terrorist group, has now deployed long-range S-400 air defense missile systems to its air base in Latakia to eliminate potential threats to its fighter jets.

Following Tuesday’s incident, Erdogan told Putin “not to play with fire” in Syria by supporting the regime of Bashar al Assad. He accused Russia of attacking the legitimate Syrian opposition instead of DAESH.

Erdogan also retorted Russian accusations that Turkey is buying oil from DAESH, saying Russia is “disrespecting” Turkey through such baseless accusations while claiming that it is actually Russia’s ally - the Assad regime - buying oil from DAESH.

TRTWorld and agencies