World Economy

Putin Signs Turkey Sanctions Decree

Putin Signs Turkey Sanctions DecreePutin Signs Turkey Sanctions Decree

President Vladimir Putin signed a decree imposing a raft of punitive economic sanctions against Turkey late Saturday, underlining the depth of the Kremlin’s anger towards Ankara days after Turkey shot down a Russian warplane.

The decree, which entered into force immediately, said charter flights from Russia to Turkey would be banned, that tour firms would be told not to sell any holidays there, and that unspecified Turkish imports would be outlawed, and Turkish firms and nationals have their economic activities halted or curbed, Interfax news agency reported.

Putin ordered the government to prepare a list of goods, firms and jobs that would be affected. Some of the measures announced have already been informally introduced.

The government is expected to publish the list of banned imports on Monday, Interfax said, citing a government source. The list is likely to include food and some other products, a second government source said.

A senior Turkish official told Reuters the sanctions would only worsen the standoff between Moscow and Ankara.

But aides to Putin say he is incandescent that Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has yet to apologize for the Nov. 24 incident near the Syrian-Turkish border in which one Russian pilot was killed along with a Russian marine who tried to rescue the crew of the downed SU-24 jet.

Senior Russian officials have called the episode, one of the most serious publicly acknowledged clashes between a NATO member country and Russia for half a century, a pre-planned provocation.

Erdogan has been equally robust. He has said Turkey will not apologize for downing the jet, saying Ankara was fully within its rights to defend its air space. On Saturday, he appeared to soften his rhetoric a little, saying the episode had saddened him.

  Mega Projects

Russia is unlikely to disregard its international agreements and stop natural gas flow to Turkey, an expert with Ankara think-tank SETA argued, Albawaba reported.

Erdal Tanas Karagol, director of Economics at SETA, Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research, said Russia is not expected to cut natural gas flow to Turkey despite the incident and claimed that it would be ‘hara-kiri’ for Russia to do so. Russia is unlikely to want another problem with a natural gas importing country similar to the various gas-related issues it had previously with Ukraine. Russia halted gas supplies to the country in 2006 and in 2014.

“I don’t think mega projects or large scale energy infrastructure projects will be halted or paused,” he added and said that this possibility is not beneficial for Russia’s long-term energy policy.

Karagol discussed mega projects between Turkey and Russia, and said that the Akkuyu nuclear power plant project in the country’s southern province of Mersin on the Mediterranean coast, which is currently under construction, would go ahead. He also affirmed that the proposed Turkish Stream natural gas project still needs to be discussed and agreed by both parties.