Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Russia sees little hope to normalize ties with Turkey in near future

Russian Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that Moscow's relations with Ankara are not expected to be normalized in the foreseeable future due to the "anti-Russia stance" of the current Turkish leadership.

In a review of Russia's diplomacy in 2015 that was posted on its website, the ministry said relations with Turkey have been promoted to a certain point through contacts at various levels, but "negative potentials have been gradually developing due to differences in a raft of bilateral and global issues."

Relations between Russia and Turkey have soured after Turkish forces shot down a Russian Su-24 jet near the Turkish-Syrian border on Nov. 24, 2015 for alleged airspace violation, which the Russian side denied and saw as a hostile act.

The two sides have since been locked in a war of words. Moscow accused Turkey of having ties with terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq, while Ankara, turning the table around, claimed that Russia is involved in oil smuggling with the Islamic State the extremist group.

The incident has been described as the biggest crisis in history between the two countries. Russia has imposed a comprehensive set of sanctions against Turkey from this year.

The import of Turkish foodstuffs and other agricultural products to Russia have been curtailed. Charter flights in both directions have been halted, and the visa-free travel regime between the two countries has been suspended to "ensure national security and the safety of Russian citizens."

Russian companies are also banned from hiring Turkish citizens, while companies owned by Turkey or Turkish citizens are prohibited from providing services for state and municipal needs in Russia or participating in such areas as construction, tourism, hotel and lumber business.
  [Xinhua -]

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