Russian sanctions hurting Ankara and Moscow, Turkey says

Russian sanctions hurting Ankara and Moscow, Turkey says

Russian sanctions hurting Ankara and Moscow, Turkey says

AFP photo

Sanctions imposed by Russia on some Turkish products have hurt both countries, Turkish Customs and Trade Minister Bulent Tüfenkçi said Dec. 28 as Russia signaled that new measures against Turkey are planned.

Russia has started to impose sanctions on some Turkish products and services after a Russian fighter was downed by Turkey on Nov. 24. Moscow has also suspended a visa-free travel agreement with Turkey and banned charter flights between the two countries. In addition, travel agencies have been advised against selling holiday packages to Turkey, a popular tourist destination for Russians.

“These sanctions harm the people of both countries, Turkish and Russian. I hope this strain will not last for a long time,” said Tüfenkçi, as quoted by Anadolu Agency. 

Noting there was a decline in bilateral trade volume between the two countries even before the jet crisis due to a recession in Russia, he said the effects of Russian sanctions on Turkey would be limited.

 “When we look at our trade with Russia, there was a decline by around 38-40 percent in 2015 compared to 2014. We experienced regular decreases in our exports to Russia this year,” he said.

“In the period after the crisis in relations beginning on Nov. 24 to the end of December, there was an additional 38 percent decline. With the multiplier effect, the real decline is around 11-11.8 percent. Looking at the size of our economy, we believe this decline will not affect us to very large extent,” he added. 

In the meantime, Russia has announced it will introduce new measures in response to Turkey’s unfriendly actions. 

“There will be further actions that are to be announced,” Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said in an interview with the Rossiya-24 TV channel on Dec. 28, as quoted by TASS News Agency. 

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has already unveiled the plans at government meetings, he said.

“We will consistently go this way.”

New decree ‘signed’

President Vladimir Putin has also signed a decree under which Russian sanctions will extend not only to Turkish companies but firms controlled by Turkish nationals operating on Russian soil, the Kremlin press service reported on Dec. 28, according to TASS. 

The document makes changes to the president’s decree from Nov. 28 on special economic measures against Turkey. In its initial variant, the decree implied restrictions on work on Russia soil only for organizations under the jurisdiction of the Turkish Republic, but the restrictions will now also cover organizations controlled by Turkish nationals or companies under Turkish jurisdiction. 

Simultaneously, the president requested a list of contracts not covered by the sanctions. The issue regards direct contracts with Turkish companies and contracts with firms controlled by Turkish nationals, according to the TASS report.