Russian President Vladimir Putin issued economic sanctions against Turkey in response to the downing of a Russian warplane on Nov. 24.
Putin decided to enact the sanctions due to “national security” concerns and to protect “the national interests of the Russian Federation.” The Kremlin published the sanctions on Putin’s website:
a) Ban on or limitation of foreign economic operations envisaging the import to the territory of the Russian Federation of certain goods originating from the Turkish Republic as listed by the Russian Federation Government (except for goods imported for personal use in amounts established by Eurasian Economic Union regulations);
b) Ban on or limitation of certain types of work (services) rendered on the territory of Russia by organisations under the jurisdiction of the Turkish Republic in line with a list established by the Russian Federation Government;
c) Ban for employers, contractors of work (services) not listed by the Russian Federation Government to employ as of January 1, 2016, citizens of the Turkish Republic who are not bound by employment and/or legal civil contracts with the said employers on December 31, 2015.
“The circumstances are unprecedented. The gauntlet thrown down to Russia is unprecedented. So naturally the reaction is in line with this threat,” declared Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s spokesman.
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu criticized the sanctions.
“Relations between Turkey and Russia are in a structure based on mutual interests,” he stated. “Turkey is not having one sided interests from Russia. Russia also has economic interests from Turkey. On many areas, we have common interests and neighboring relations.”
Russians in Turkey spoke to the BBC about the conflict between the countries:
Two days after the crash, the Russian government began steps to push through the economic sanctions.
“The government has been ordered to work out a system of response measures to this act of aggression in the economic and humanitarian spheres,” explained Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
In these documents the focus will be on introducing limits or bans on the economic activities of Turkish economic structures working in Russia, a limitation of the supply of products, including food products, and on the work and provision of services by Turkish companies and other restrictive measures. I propose doing all this in a period of two days so that we can move to setting up the appropriate procedures as quickly as possible.
The Turkish government “commissioned Russia’s state-owned Rosatom in 2013 to build four 1,200-megawatt reactors in a project worth $20 billion.” The TurkStream pipeline project could be affected as well, a project intended as a way to transport natural gas to Europe without going through Ukraine.
“There are a lot of Turkish companies operating in the construction business in the Russian market; there is cooperation in the tourism sector,” stated Dmitry Abzalov, the vice president of the Center for Strategic Communications. “The termination of relations with Moscow on these issues will be negative for the Turkish economy, and it will hit the national currency the lira.”
The Russian Ministry of Agriculture also declared their sector “would strengthen control over food supplies” and “perform additional border and production checks.” The Kremlin did not include Turkey in their Western food ban in 2014 in retaliation for the West’s sanctions on Russia following its aggression towards Ukraine.
“About 15 percent of Turkish agricultural products on average do not meet Russian standards,” said Minister of Agriculture Alexander Tkachev.
In 2014, “4 percent of Turkey’s exports, mainly textiles and food, worth $6 billion went to Russia.” Turkey is also the “second-largest buyer of Russian natural gas after Germany.” The government purchases the most Russian wheat and steel semi-finished products in the world. Kremlin propaganda outlet Russia Today reported that Rosselkhoznadzor, Russia’s food safety regulator, “stopped a 162 ton shipment of chicken from Turkey for not having proper food safety certificates” on Wednesday.