On Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin approved a new set of economic sanctions against Turkey. The decision to sanction Turkey came as a result of the shooting down of a Russian SU-24 bomber over the Turkish-Syrian border earlier this week.
The new set of sanctions, much like a previously imposed revocation of visa-free travel between Russia and Turkey, aims to target Turkey’s tourism industry. Russians are among the largest groups of travelers to Turkey, bringing large amounts of outside spending to the Middle Eastern country. The sanctions announced on Saturday include an absolute ban on all flights directly from Russia to Turkey. They also forbid Russian travel agencies from selling any kind of travel packages to Turkey, effectively cutting off Russian tourist dollars from entering the country.
In addition to travel restrictions designed to remove tourism income from Turkey, the new sanctions will also prohibit the operation of many Turkish companies in Russia until they are lifted. Some Turkish imports are also to be banned for sale in Russia, though a complete listing of those products has yet to be issued by the Kremlin. Further casualties of this move may include a nearly $20 billion nuclear power plant being constructed in Turkey with Russian assistance and the TurkStream gas pipeline meant to move natural gas between Russia and Turkey across the Black Sea. However, these projects have not been specifically identified as of yet as being among those that the new Russian sanctions will eliminate.
The sanctions were issued as an executive order from President Putin, bypassing the normal legislative process for national security purposes. Turkey and Russia have been in consistent opposition since the downing of the Russian bomber, with Russia demanding an apology before any negotiations may take place. Turkey, on the other hand, has maintained that the plane violated its airspace and was brought down after having been given fair and proper warning. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has expressed his desire to meet “face to face” with Mr. Putin during a climate change summit in Paris next week, which both leaders are attending, to attempt to settle the matter.
Kremlin.ru [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0) or CC BY 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
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