Russian sanctions against Turkey are ‘unsustainable’

Russian sanctions against Turkey are ‘unsustainable’

ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
Russian sanctions against Turkey are ‘unsustainable’

AA photo

A Turkish minister has described Russian sanctions as “unsustainable” and added that Ankara is open for dialogue with Moscow to resolve the recent political crisis.

Speaking during an Anadolu Agency’s editors’ desk meeting on Dec. 22 in Ankara, Culture and Tourism Minister Mahir Ünal said the tourism sector had been affected by the Kremlin-imposed restrictions, meanwhile calling the sanctions “unsustainable.”

“Turkey does not want to lose the Russian market in tourism, but we will not depend only on Russian tourists,” he said, elaborating.

Tensions between Ankara and Moscow flared following two Turkish F16s’ downing of a Russian jet near the Turkish-Syrian border last month.

After the incident, Moscow tightened restrictions on economic and trade relations with Turkey, among them a ban on charter flights between Russia and Turkey, to where Russian travel agencies have also been told to stop selling tours.

Stating that about 3-4 million Russian tourists visit Turkey annually, Ünal said, “We are working on some measures against the sanctions.

“The crisis will end eventually, but we need to diversify the tourism sector.”

According to Ünal, energy and tourism have always functioned as constructive factors between Turkey and Russia.

“There lots of Russian citizens who are in love with Antalya [a resort destination in southern Turkey],” the minister said.

“Moscow has been making black propaganda about Turkey, but we will correct this misunderstanding,” he added.