Russia-Turkey relations freezing over fast
Russia-Turkey relations are freezing over quickly with Moscow upping its defences against Ankara, and Ankara launching its own set of "unofficial" embargo measures, media souces reported on Saturday.
Russia has strengthened its anti-aircraft defences in Syria by moving a cruiser towards the coast and deploying new missiles at its main base.
The Moskva cruiser's long-range air defence system will provide cover for Russian aircraft, as will the S-400 missiles which arrived on Thursday.
The row over Turkey's downing of a Russian combat jet on Tuesday rages on.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned Russia not to "play with fire" with its operations in Syria.
Russia has suspended its visa-free arrangement with Turkey and is planning to introduce a wide range of economic sanctions. President Vladimir Putin wants an apology from Turkey before he will speak to Erdogan.
Moscow rejected Turkey's assertion that its Su-24 fighter jet had flown into Turkish air space for 17 seconds after ignoring repeated warnings to change course.
A senior Russian commander said the jet had in fact been "ambushed" by two Turkish F-16s patrolling the area for more than an hour beforehand.
He said Russian and Syrian radar data proved that a Turkish jet had fired a missile from 2km (1.2 miles) inside Syria. Turkey did not respond to the allegation.
The long-range S-400 system was delivered to Russia's Hmeimim air base just 50km from the border with Turkey.
Russian aircraft have been using the base to attack opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad since 30 September.
Turkey, which is a member of NATO and of a US-led coalition in the region, insists Assad must step down before any political solution to the Syrian conflict is found.
Both countries say they are trying to rid the region of the so-called Islamic State (IS) group, which claimed the recent attacks on Paris and also on a Russian airliner.
US says Russia did not inform on flight plan
Russia did not inform the US military of its jet's flight plan before Turkey shot it down on Tuesday, despite assertions to the contrary by Russian President Vladimir Putin, two US officials told Reuters on Friday, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Putin has suggested some degree of US culpability in the aftermath of the incident, even hinting that the United States might have given detailed Russian operational plans to Turkey ahead of time.
Turkey takes measures against Russia
After Russia took a series of measures against Turkey to enact visa restrictions, impact trade and economic relations, Ankara responded with its own series of measures against Moscow, Sigma TV’s correspondent in Turkey reported.
The correspondent said that Turkey had decided to take its own counter-measures for the “unofficial” economic embargo that Moscow has launched against it.
Ankara has “unofficially” decided on the following measures Sigma reported:
- Lorries and containers that come from Russia will wait to enter last at all border crossings
- Russian products will be extensively checked. Products that are heading to other countries with Turkey as a transit country will have to wait a long time for processing.
- Russian businesspeople travelling to Turkey will have to have a return ticket and show a hotel reservation.
- Measures at the civil aviation will be taken, with deportations set to rise after checks if travellers don’t adhere to Turkish rules for entrance and stay in the country.
Source: BBC, Reuters, Sigma TV