PM: Turkey mulling retaliatory sanctions on Russia
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said his government was considering retaliatory sanctions against Moscow
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Tuesday his government was considering retaliatory measures against Moscow, with whom it is embroiled in a bitter dispute over Ankara’s shooting down of a Russian warplane.
“If we find it necessary, we will introduce retaliatory sanctions,” Davutoglu told members of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), adding that cabinet had discussed possible measures at a meeting on Monday.
“But we hope that the crisis with Russia will be overcome and there will be no need to resort to these measures,” he added.
“We are ready for all kinds of discussions with Russia but we will never accept being dictated to.”
Moscow has imposed a series of economic sanctions on Ankara after Turkish fighter jets shot down a Su-24 bomber on the Syrian border on November 24, sparking the biggest crisis between the two countries since the Cold War.
Russia’s sanctions include a ban on the import of some Turkish foods and a halt on sales of Turkish holiday packages, a major blow to tourism in the Mediterranean country.
Mehmet Simsek, deputy prime minister in charge of the economy, has warned that the current tensions with Russia could cost Turkey’s economy nine billion dollars.
In the latest escalation of tensions on Monday, Turkey summoned Russia’s ambassador to Ankara over images of a Russian serviceman brandishing a rocket launcher as his warship sailed through Turkish waters.
The Turkish foreign ministry warned the ambassador that the Russian soldier’s holding the missile in the firing position had constituted a violation of the Montreux Convention on Turkish straits, which governs international traffic through the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits.
But in Moscow’s first reaction to the incident, foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that the warship had not violated a “single article” the 1936 convention.
“Protecting a ship is a legal right of any crew,” she said in a statement.
Ankara said it had no plans to revise the convention.
“We currently have no preparation to that end,” Bilgic told a press conference Tuesday. But he warned that “anything could be subject to assessment due to developments”.
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