World

Russia announces sanctions against Turkey over shooting down of warplane

Russia will restrict imports of Turkish fruit and vegetables as part of a package of new sanctions following the downing of a Russian warplane by Turkey last week.

Fruit and vegetable ban could be deferred 'several weeks' to let Russian firms find new suppliers

Demonstrators holding a Syrian opposition flag and a defaced poster of Russia's President Vladimir Putin reading 'Killer Putin!' in Turkish attend an anti-Russian protest in Istanbul. Tensions between the two countries are high since the downing of a Russian bomber by Turkey earlier his month. (Murad Sezer/Reuters)

Russia will restrict imports of Turkish fruit and vegetables as part of a package of new sanctions following the downing of a Russian warplane by Turkey last week.

Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said the fruit and vegetable ban could be deferred for "several weeks" to allow Russian firms to find new suppliers and curb price rises, in comments reported Monday by state news agency RIA Novosti.

The new measures announced at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev also include a government veto on Turkish construction firms working in Russia and restrictions on road transport.

RIA reported that Medvedev called for sanctions to be "most effective for the Turkish side but minimally affecting our economic interests."

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich announced restrictions on imports of Turkish fruit and vegetables, but only after other suppliers can be found. (Alexander Zemlianichenko/Associated Press)

Also Monday, Turkey's prime minister defied calls from Moscow and said his country won't apologize for shooting down a warplane operating over Syria.

Ahmet Davutoglu said the Turkish military was doing its job defending the national airspace.

No Turkish prime minister or president will apologize … because of doing our duty.- Ahmet Davutoglu, Turkish prime minister

He also said Turkey hopes Moscow will reconsider economic sanctions announced against Turkish interests. The Turkish resort town of Antalya is "like a second home" to many Russian holidaymakers, he said, but refused to yield on Turkish security.

"No Turkish prime minister or president will apologize … because of doing our duty," Davutoglu told reporters after meeting NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels. "Protection of Turkish airspace, Turkish borders is a national duty, and our army did their job to protect this airspace. But if the Russian side wants to talk, and wants to prevent any future unintentional events like this, we are ready to talk."

Turkey is a member of the NATO alliance.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told The Associated Press on Sunday that he's deeply concerned about tensions between Russia and Turkey after Turkish F-16s shot down a Russian warplane on Nov. 24.

Insists no intrusion

Russia on Sept. 30 began airstrikes in Syria that it says are focused on fighters of the Islamic State, but which some observers say target other rebel groups and are aimed at bolstering the forces of President Bashar al-Assad. Russia insists that the plane that was shot down did not intrude on Turkish airspace.

Davutoglu insisted a violation occurred, and said Turkey had repeatedly warned Russia about incursions into its airspace.

An image taken from video shows a trail of flames coming from a Russian warplane shot down near the Turkish-Syrian border on Tuesday. (Haberturk TV/EPA)

"We also made very clear that the Turkish-Syria border is a national security issue for Turkey. So it was a defensive action," Davutoglu said. He repeated Turkish assertions that there were no IS fighters in the area.

"We have been telling our Russian friends that their bombardments against civilians on our border is creating new waves of refugees which do not go to Russia or to any other country — but coming to Turkey," he said.

"And Turkey, after every bombardment, (is) receiving more and more — tens of thousands of refugees from Syria," Davutoglu added. "Turkey is a country paying the price of this crisis."

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