Putin: fully mobilised.
Erdogan: Confrontation will not bring anyone happiness. As much as Russia is important for Turkey, Turkey is important for Russia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree imposing economic sanctions on Turkey, four days after Turkey shot down a Russian warplane near the Syrian-Turkish border.
The decree, posted on the Kremlin’s website, said a ban on charter flights from Russia to Turkey would be introduced, that Russian tour operators should stop selling trips to Turkey, and that imports of some Turkish products would halt.
It also said the operations of Turkish companies in Russia and the employment of Turkish staff by Russian firms would face restrictions and ordered the government to prepare a list of goods, firms and jobs that would be affected.
The degree, which came into force immediately, was entitled “On measures to ensure Russia’s national security and protect Russian citizens from criminal and other illegal activities, and the application of special economic measures against Turkey”.
Some of the measures announced had already been informally introduced.
Turkey mainly sells food, agricultural products and textiles to Moscow.
A Kremlin spokesman said earlier yesterday that there could be up to 200,000 Turkish citizens on Russian soil.
Putin signed the decree days before a climate change summit in Paris next week, which Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said earlier yesterday could be a chance to repair relations with Moscow.
And earlier yesterday Putin’s spokesman said the Russian president was fully mobilised to tackle what the Kremlin regards as an unprecedented threat from Turkey.
In comments which underscore how angry the Kremlin still is over the incident, Dmitry Peskov called the behaviour of the Turkish air force “absolute madness” and said Ankara’s subsequent handling of the crisis had reminded him of the “theatre of the absurd”.
“Nobody has the right to traitorously shoot down a Russian plane from behind,” Peskov told Russia’s News on Saturday TV programme, calling Turkish evidence purporting to show the Russian SU-24 jet had violated Turkish air space “cartoons”.
Peskov said the crisis had prompted Putin to “mobilise” in the way an army does in tense times.
“The president is mobilised, fully mobilised, mobilised to the extent that circumstances demand,” said Peskov. “The circumstances are unprecedented. The gauntlet thrown down to Russia is unprecedented. So naturally the reaction is in line with this threat.”
Erdogan has said that Turkey will not apologise for downing the fighter jet, but he said yesterday that the incident had saddened him and that the climate change summit in Paris next week could be a chance to repair relations with Moscow.
“Confrontation will not bring anyone happiness. As much as Russia is important for Turkey, Turkey is important for Russia,” Erdogan said in a televised speech in the western city of Baliksehir.
Peskov said Putin was aware of a Turkish request for him to meet Erdogan on the sidelines of the Paris conference but gave no indication of whether such a meeting would take place.
Peskov denied Turkish press reports which said Moscow and Ankara had struck a deal for their warplanes to stop flying along the Syrian-Turkish border, saying military ties between the two countries had been severed and a hot line meant to avoid misunderstandings among their pilots dismantled.
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