On Sunday, a near-collision between a Russian ship and a Turkish fishing boat prompted the warship to fire warning shots to signal the Turkish vessel to change course. No casualties resulted, and the fishing boat changed its course before coming any closer to the ship.
The incident occurred in the Aegean Sea, far from the areas in which Russia and Turkey have come into conflict over the Syrian Civil War in recent weeks. According to reports from the Russian Defense Ministry, the warning shots were limited to small arms fire. Russia has stated that the warning shots were fired only in an effort to alert the Turkish fishing boat that the two vessels were on a collision course and that the crew of the Russian ship had no intention of damaging the boat.
The captain of the fishing boat, however, said later that he was not even aware that he was under fire and turned away without realizing that the warning had been given. “We are not on the side of escalating tension, we are on the side of de-escalating tense situations through dialogue,” said Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkey’s foreign minister, when speaking of the incident after the Russian foreign ministry summoned leading Turkish military representatives in Moscow for a meeting after it had occurred. Thus far, no other action has resulted, and neither Russia or Turkey have indicated that this incident will escalate the military tension between them.
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