TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday called for sanctions against Turkey, following the downing this week by Turkey of a Russian warplane.
The decree published on the Kremlin’s website Saturday came hours after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had voiced regret over the incident, saying his country was “truly saddened” by the event and wished it hadn’t occurred.
The decree includes a ban on some goods and forbids extensions of labor contracts for Turks working in Russia as of January 1. It doesn’t specify what goods are to be banned or give other details, but it also calls for ending chartered flights from Russia to Turkey and for Russian tourism companies to stop selling vacation packages that would include a stay in Turkey.
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev earlier in the week had ordered his cabinet to develop a list of goods to be sanctioned.
Putin’s decree also calls for ending visa-free travel between Russia and Turkey and orders the tightening of control over Turkish air carriers in Russia “for security reasons.” A Kremlin statement said the decree was issued “to protect Russian citizens from crimes.”
Erdogan’s expression of regret Saturday was the first since Tuesday’s incident in which Turkish F-16 jets shot down the Russian jet on grounds that it had violated Turkey’s airspace despite repeated warnings to change course. It was the first time in half a century that a NATO member shot down a Russian plane and drew a harsh response from Moscow.
“We are truly saddened by this incident,” Erdogan said. “We wish it hadn’t happened as such, but unfortunately such a thing has happened. I hope that something like this doesn’t occur again.”
Addressing supporters in the western city of Balikesir, Erdogan said neither country should allow the incident to escalate and take a destructive form that would lead to “saddening consequences.”
He renewed a call for a meeting with President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of a climate conference in Paris next week, saying it would be an opportunity to overcome tensions, AP reported.
Erdogan’s friendly overture however, came after he again vigorously defended Turkey’s action and criticized Russia for its operations in Syria.
“If we allow our sovereign rights to be violated … then the territory would no longer be our territory,” Erdogan said.
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu also said he hoped a meeting between Erdogan and Putin would take place in Paris.
“In such situations it is important to keep the channels of communication open,” he said.
Putin has denounced the Turkish action as a “treacherous stab in the back,” and has insisted that the plane was downed over Syrian territory in violation of international law. He has also refused to take telephone calls from Erdogan.
Putin’s foreign affairs adviser, Yuri Ushakov, said Friday that the Kremlin had received Erdogan’s request for a meeting, but wouldn’t say whether such a meeting is possible.