Turkey warns citizens over Russian visa regime

Turkey warns citizens over Russian visa regime

Turkey warns citizens over Russian visa regime Turkish foreign ministry has warned its citizens aiming at traveling to Russia over the visa regime Russia will start imposing on Turkish citizens as of Jan. 1, 2016, after relations between the two countries have been tense due to a jet crisis.

The foreign ministry said Dec. 16 in a written statement that Russia would impose visas for Turkish citizens with regular passports who plan on traveling to the country starting from Jan. 1, 2016. 

Russia’s new visa regime on Turkish citizens was announced as part of the sanctions Russia implements on Turkey after the latter downed a warplane of the former on Nov. 24. Turkey claims that a Russian Su-24 warplane violated Turkish airspace even though having warned the aircraft several times, while Russia states that its’ jet was inside Syrian territory at all times. 

Visas between the two countries had been lifted in 2011 as a sign of good relationship. 

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Dec. 18 that Russia was ready to restore relations with ex-Soviet Georgia which chilled after their five-day war in August 2008. 

Russia is also ready to cancel visa requirements for Georgian nationals, Putin told his annual news conference, according to Reuters. 

Referring to his political foe Mikheil Saakashvili, who led Georgia during the war, Putin said the appointment of the latter as a regional governor in Ukraine was “a spit in the face of the Ukrainian people”. 

Georgia’s Prime Minister Irakly Garibashvili has called Putin’s remarks about Russia’s readiness to lift visa requirements for Georgia as “a step in the right direction,” Russian TASS News Agency reported.

“I carefully considered today’s statement of the president of the Russian Federation that the country will probably lift visa requirements for Georgian nationals,” Garibashvili said in a statement released on Dec. 18.

“I think it will be a step in the right direction.”