Russia says it fired warning shots at Turkish ship in Aegean to avoid collision
MOSCOWThe Russian Defense Ministry said on Dec. 13 that one of its warships, the destroyer Smetlivy, had been forced to fire warning shots at a Turkish vessel in the Aegean Sea to avoid a collision and that it had summoned the Turkish military attaché over the incident, according to Reuters.
It said in a statement that the Turkish fishing vessel, which it did not name, had failed to respond to earlier warnings, during which Smetlivy was unable to establish radio contact Dec. 13 with the approaching Turkish seiner, which also failed to respond to visual signals and flares, but had sharply changed course after shots were fired before passing within just over 500 meters of the warship.
“The crew of the Russian patrol ship Smetlivy which was located 22 kilometers from the Greek island of Lemnos in the northern part of the Aegean Sea avoided collision with a Turkish seiner,” the defense ministry said, adding that the crew had fired small arms to warn the vessel, according to Agence France-Presse.
Meanwhile, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said an official statement would be made after talking with the fishermen.
He stressed that Turkey was in favor of "overcoming tensions through dialogue."
Russian President Vladimir Putin, who called the downing of the plane a “stab in the back,” has since imposed economic sanctions on Turkey as a retaliatory measure.
Earlier this month, Turkey complained to Russia over an incident in which a Russian sailor was pictured brandishing a rocket launcher on the deck of a naval ship passing through Istanbul.