President Vladimir Putin signed a decree imposing a raft of punitive economic sanctions against Turkey on Saturday, underlining the depth of the Kremlin’s anger toward Ankara four days after Turkey shot down a Russian warplane.
The decree, which entered into force immediately, said charter flights from Russia to Turkey would be banned, that tour firms would be told not to sell any holidays there, and that unspecified Turkish imports would be outlawed, and Turkish firms and nationals have their economic activities halted or curbed.
“The circumstances are unprecedented. The gauntlet thrown down to Russia is unprecedented. So naturally the reaction is in line with this threat,” Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s spokesman, said hours before the decree was published.
A senior Turkish official told Reuters the sanctions would only worsen the standoff between Moscow and Ankara.
But aides to Putin say he is incandescent that Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has yet to apologize for the Nov. 24 incident near the Syrian-Turkish border in which one Russian pilot was killed along with a Russian marine who tried to rescue the crew of the downed SU-24 jet.
Senior Russian officials have called the episode, one of the most serious publicly acknowledged clashes between a NATO member country and Russia for half a century, a pre-planned provocation.
Erdogan has been equally robust. He has said Turkey will not apologize for downing the jet, saying Ankara was fully within its rights to defend its air space. On Saturday, he appeared to soften his rhetoric a little, saying…