On Thursday Moscow welcomed Francois Hollande. The French President is trying to draw Russia in an anti-Islamic State (IS) coalition that will be united.
That is difficult since the downing of a SU-24 fighter jet by Turkey on Tuesday. That incident is the most heated between a NATO member state and Russia in five decades. And there is no sign of de-escalation in the Russo-Turkish standoff.
The surviving pilot of the Russian SU-24 jet-fighter shot down over Syria on Tuesday, 24 November said the crew received no warnings. On Wednesday, TASS reports, Konstantin Murakhtin, confirmed that the Su-24 jet never crossed into Turkish territory. Russia’s Sergei Lavrov reiterated that position, concluding that by downing the Russian aircraft “the Turkish government in essence sided with ISL.” Countering Russia’s position, the Turkish military released tapes of warnings to the pilots, Al Jazeera reports.
But, Russia is less than convinced and is taking economic countermeasures, far greater than previously thought.
According to Bloomberg, the Minister for Agriculture, Alexander Tkachev, said 15% of Turkish imports were found to breach Russian regulations.
The question was looming whether Russia would be willing to jeopardize “Turkish Stream,” a natural gas pipeline intended to channel Russian Gas to Turkey and, thereon, to the Balkans. As a market in its own right, Turkey is the second-largest buyer of Russian gas after Germany according to Politico. The answer is yes.
On Thursday, the Russian Minister of development, Alexei Ulyukayev, said that Russia is cancelling Turkish Stream and is considering cancelling a contract for the construction of the Akkuyu nuclear reactor in Mersin province.
Speaking to Sputnik Ukulayav stated:
“This project is no different from any other, we are talking about our investment cooperation [with Turkey], it is one of the most perspective investment projects, and, just like any other project, it falls under the law on special economic measures.”
Tourism is also likely to be affected, not only due to negative publicity, but also because Russia is considering extending an embargo to Turkish airliners, including charter flights.
Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan called Kremlin’s reaction “emotional.”
Meanwhile, the leader of the Just Russia party says the Duma is ready to recognize the Armenian genocide, according to RIA Novosti.