Russia Considers Severe Economic Sanctions on Turkey over Downing of Jet

Erdogan Refuses to Apologize, Denies ISIS Support

Following Turkey’s downing of a Russian military jet on Nov. 24, relations between the two countries are tense, with Russia considering imposing severe economic sanctions on Turkey. Turkish warplanes shot down a Su-24 Russian military aircraft near the border with Syria on Tues., Nov. 24, in what Russian President Vladimir Putin described as a “stab in the back” carried out by “accomplices of terrorists.”

Putin claimed the aircraft was hit by air-to-air missiles fired by Turkish F-16s while it was flying over Syrian territory. Turkish authorities said the plane was engaged after several warnings alerted the pilots that they were violating Turkey’s airspace. Following the attack, Putin said the incident will have “serious consequences” for Russian-Turkish relations.

Moscow has since moved to impose a number of economic sanctions on Ankara, which could include restrictions on travel and imports, as well as abandoning the TurkStream pipeline project and a $20 billion nuclear power deal, according to reports. Meanwhile, on Nov. 27, 39 Turkish businessmen were arrested in Russia for visa violations. Earlier, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev ordered members of his government to draft a list of possible economic measures against Turkey.


Erdogan: We Will Not Apologize

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in an exclusive interview with CNN on Thursday, said Turkey will not apologize for the incident.

“I think if there is a party that needs to apologize, it is not us… Those who violated our airspace are the ones who need to apologize. Our pilots and our armed forces, they simply fulfilled their duties, which consisted of responding to…violations of the rules of engagement. I think this is the essence,” he said during the interview.

In a meeting with community leaders in Ankara on the same day, Erdogan said, “If the same violation occurs today, Turkey has to react the same way.”

Erdogan said he was infuriated by Putin’s claim that Turkey buys oil from the Islamic State. He insisted that his country is fighting the Islamic State, and said that one needed proof to make such an accusation; otherwise, “You are a slanderer.”


Russian Pilot Says No Warnings Were Given

The Russian crew ejected before the jet crashed in Syria’s Latakia province. As the two Russian pilots descended by parachute, one was shot dead by Turkmen forces, Reuters reported, citing a deputy commander of a Turkmen brigade in Syria. “Both of the pilots were dead on retrieval. Our comrades opened fire into the air and they died in the air,” Alpaslan Celik, a deputy commander of a Syrian Turkmen brigade, said.

It was later revealed that Russian navigator Captain Konstantin V. Murakhtin, one of the two who parachuted out of the warplane, was rescued by special forces troops who negotiated his release from insurgents who were holding him. According to the New York Times, Murakhtin said that there had been no warnings before the missile slammed into the aircraft. “There were no warnings from either the radio channel or visually, there was no contact at all,” he told Interfax news from the Russian air base outside Latakia.

Shortly following the incident, Russia deployed a missile cruiser near Latakia and said it was ready to take down any aerial targets that threaten its airbase near the city.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Wednesday that his government did not wish to fuel tensions with Russia. “We have no intention to strain (ties) with the Russian Federation,” Davutoglu told ruling party members in parliament. “Russia is our friend and our neighbor,” Davutoglu was quoted as saying.

Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, accused Turkey of a “planned provocation” that would cause Moscow to seriously consider “reassessing its relations with Ankara,” reported the UK’s Telegraph. Lavrov also canceled his planned visit to Istanbul in the wake of the recent incident. The visit was to take place on Nov. 25.


Armenia Reacts

Armenian Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian condemned Turkey’s downing of the warplane, saying that it damages international efforts to defeat terrorist groups operating in Syria. According to RFE/RL’s Armenian service, Ohanyan also urged the international community to prevent a further escalation of Russian-Turkish tensions, which analysts believe could lead to major security risks for Armenia.

“I think that at a time when the international community is concentrating its efforts on a fight against international terrorism, it can be said that it was a direct blow to those efforts,” Ohanyan said.

A day after the downing of the warplane, Russian lawmaker Sergei Mironov said that his opposition Just Russia Party had submitted a bill to parliament on holding anyone who denies the Armenian Genocide accountable, reported Reuters. “We have just submitted a bill on responsibility for failure to acknowledge the fact of a genocide of Armenians by Turkey in 1915,” Mironov said in a tweet on Wednesday. Russia is among the many countries that have recognized the mass killings of Armenians between 1915 and 1923 as genocide.


  1. After four years, it seems Russia has now let the cat out of the bag, and all within 48 hours after a Russian plane was shot and two Russians killed.

    Since the start of the conflict in Syria, Russia was playing the diplomatic game and kept mum about the terrorist supporting nation of Turkey. But after the plane incident, it was as if Russian media ‘exploded’ with all the Turkey articles revealing how Turkey has been supporting ISIS all along, and how Erdogan’s family even has direct connections.

    It has also been revealed that the “Turkmen leader” responsible for directing the murder of the Russian pilot is actually a Turk from Turkey connected to the Turkish government and the “Gray Wolves”, which means, Turkey itself may have engaged in a war crime with the murder of the Russian pilot, besides the downing of the Russian plane. Evidence is even mounting that the Turkish plane breached Syrian airspace in order to shoot the Russian plane, which could have far-reaching consequences if found to be conclusively true.

    Given the amount of business that exists between Russia and Turkey I don’t think their relationship is going to deteriorate fully. The relationship will certainly go down a notch, but given the above mentioned analysts who believe “could lead to major security risks for Armenia” – I don’t think I agree. In fact I actually see this incident as a net positive for Armenia in the NKR resolution process, and in case things do get out of hand, the major security risks won’t be just against Armenia, but even more so against Turkey and even NATO itself.

  2. The villain in all of this (as usual), is Turkey for shooting down a Russian military jet, which was only flying over the Syria-Turkey border. And even if it happened to be flying just slightly within Turkey’s airspace (in a non-threatening manner), is certainly no justification for the Turks to shoot it down. It’s also pretty clear that those Turkish warplanes never delivered any kind of warning to the Russian jet; after all, if a warning had truly been delivered, then why would the two pilots of the Russian jet proceed to fly within Turkey’s airspace, knowing full well that the Turks’ next action would be to shoot them down?

    I certainly do hope that Russia pursues severe economic sanctions against Turkey. And hopefully, Russia will realize that it was very wrong in supplying Turkey’s little brother (Azerbaijan) with four billion dollars worth of heavy military arms (which is for the purpose of being used against Armenia and Artsakh), and that it’s also been very wrong in never once condemning it for its campaign of terrorism against its ally, Armenia.

  3. Economic sanctions against Turkey are not enough.

    Russia needs to retaliate militarily against Turkey – for example by shooting down a Turkish jet or two – perhaps even in the vicinity of Armenia.
    What would NATO do?
    Nothing, except issue some strong words.
    Nato is not going to go to war with Russia over such shoot downs because Nato knows that Turkey started this fight with Russia, and Russia would just be defending itself.

    Putin said “Turkey stabbed us in the back.”

    That phrase is used only when the offending country is considered a friend. Therefore, we can conclude that Putin naively thinks that Turkey is a friend.

    Putin has clearly backed down militarily in the face of Turkish aggression.

    Armenia, please beware of Russian weakness when confronted by Turks (and Azeris).

    • The Turkish leaders, mullah Erdogan disguised as a president and his sheep dog Davutoglu in particular, are opportunists and cowards. They found an opportunity to retaliate against the Russians for taking the lead in eliminating Turkey’s ISIS collaborators, as well as their rebel henchmen to topple Assad the leader of a sovereign state, and cutting off one of Turkey’s lifelines, namely the illegal import of stolen oil under ISIS control which further finances their terrorism. They are cowards because they did this under the direction of their NATO pimps and knowing well in advance they will have the backings of 27 other NATO member states.

      Faced with severe sanctions hurting their pockets and having to go this one alone, these Turkish scoundrels have now softened up a bit, with dishonesty and ulterior motives of course, and have begun backpeddling like little insignificant pan handlers.

      Interestingly absent from this picture is their coward Azerbaijani slave Aliyev fearful of taking sides when he never misses an opportunity to take sides with Turkey and attack and insult the Armenians. What happened to the Turkish and Azerbaijani “two states, one nation” fraternity nonsense? I find it quite interesting, not surprised though, that such mythical phrases take center stage when Armenians are involved but absent when faced with the Russian bear.

  4. The Turkish PR campaign is cloned in part from the AG denial campaign.

    First, the probably false claim that the Russian jet was in Turkish airspace and was a threat to Turkish sovereignty. Please see the denialist claim that Armenians were a threat to Turkish Ottoman sovereignty, with the salient difference being that Armenians were citizens of the Empire. We now see that if the Russian jet intruded, it did so for only a few seconds. It was no threat on either side of the border.

    Second, there is probable evidence of premeditation, just as there was in 1915. Russia claims that it has evidence.

    Third, Erdogan invites the Russians to calm down, just as the denialist state thinks that pursuit of justice is an emotional problem among Armenians.

    Fourth, Erdogan says that the killing of the Russian pilot “saddened” him. However, he accepts no blame. This is like his alligator tears “condolences” (without responsibility) for 1915.

    Fifth, as Putin states there is evidence of Turkish cooperation w Isis, Erdogan demands proof and says he will resign if it is offered. (Turkish newspapers have already offered such proof, as is reflected elsewhere in these pages, a “crime” for which Turkish journalists have been prosecuted.) This offer of resignation mirrors the denialist challenge that Armenians prove their case in a court of law, and Erdogan also said he will accept state responsibility for the AG if a judgment says this is true.

    All Baloney meant to distract from Turkish state murder. We now know from RT reporting not repeated in the west that the “Turkmen” guerilla leader who executed the Russian pilot is a Turkish citizen and Gray Wolf member. His father is a nationalist politician. The killing was an act of state.

  5. Turkey killed couple of Russian soldiers and Russians are boycotting Turkish products among other things. Turks massacred a million and a half Armenian civilians, still Armenians don’t have the balls or the will needed to boycott Turkish products. Shame on the Armenian grocery stores that promote Turkish products, even more shame on the Armenians who encourage and purchase Turkish products.
    Arab writers and activists have launched an e-campaign aimed at supporting Turkish goods in the face of Russian economic sanctions against Turkey after the latter shot down a Russian warplane.
    Activists have launched various Twitter hashtags with names such as: #I_am_a_Muslim_and_in_solidarity_with_Turkey; #I_am_an_Arab_and_in_solidarity_with_Turkey; and #Supporting_the_Turkish_goods. Maybe we should add on this list, #Armenian_ Genocide_ survivor_ supporting_ Turkish_ goods.

    • This goes to show how the Arabs worship the Turks. For all Armenians out there who think Arabs are good allies, those hashtags are an example that they are not.

      Most Arabs I’ve met idolize the Ottomans and the Turkish Republic as well, they don’t actually care about Armenia. There is no reason to put our faith in any kind of friendship with them.

  6. This was a much deserved slap to Putin-the-thug. He thought he could bully Russia’s neighbors, play tough, and ignore the international community. He got too arrogant, and now he got burned. And let us not forget how close he grew with his buddy Erdogan. Perhaps we Armenians can collectively say “well served.” I would much prefer that he suffered this blow from Ukraine and not our enemy (Turkey), but still a nice result.

    The funny thing is that Russia cannot do much. Putin has made so many enemies on so many fronts, he has stretched himself too thin to respond to the recent blows. The 200+ Russian passengers of the blown jet were victims of his rash adventurism. Then Ukraine cut electricity to Crimea, and again, not much Russia could do. And now Russia’s reaction to Turkey is some meek sanctions. Given Russia’s sinking economy, the sanctions will hurt Russia more than Turkey. Not to mention that the Russian middle class, Putin’s base, is not barred from vacationing in Turkey and Egypt, their last hope (Europe is pretty much unaffordable for Russian tourists due to ruble’s collapse). Here is a nice article discussing Putin’s puny reaction, by a Russian-born journalist:

    What this means for us Armenians is that we cannot rely on Russia. If Putin won’t do much to Turkey for killing his pilots, is he going to defend Armenia against Turkey? Or Azerbaijan? Russia is a sinking ship, with an unstable leader. Armenia needs to grow stronger so it can rely on itself. The only way it can happen is if Armenia is a democracy. Only Armenians are interested in strengthening Armenia, and they will not do it while Armenia is in the grips of a corrupt regime.

    • Correcrtion: the Russian middle class, Putin’s base, is NOW barred from vacationing in Turkey and Egypt, their last hope

    • {Perhaps we Armenians can collectively say “well served.”}

      You Armenians?!

      “The territories under Armenian control, including “NKR”, are occupied territories. They belong to Azerbaijan and are occupied by Armenian forces.” – Poster ‘Vahagn’ // October 27, 2015 at 10:52 pm in: “Warlick: OSCE Concerned about Increasing Violence, Civilian Deaths” []

    • John:

      Do you really _have_ to remind the poster he outed himself ?
      Repeatedly ?

      Looks like he is having some kind of pleasant fantasy trip, pretending nobody noticed….and if keeps repeating “We” Armenians, maybe one or two new AW visitors will unknowingly buy the anti-Armenian propaganda, presumably coming from a concerned ‘Armenian’.

      And you keep rudely interrupting the man’s fantasy.
      Tsk, tsk, tsk.

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