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Turkey: 'Russian sanctions will only deepen the problem'

Turkish officials says Russian sanctions will only deepen problems between the two countries. Credit: Reuters

Russia's newly announced economic sanctions against Turkey will only "deepen the problem" a senior Turkish official has said.

President Vladamir Putin ordered the sanctions in retaliation for Turkey downing a Russian jet near the Syrian border.

"Sanctions like this would only damage relations. These steps do not make anything easier, but deepen the problem," the official told Reuters.

Putin orders ban on Turkish goods and staff in Russia

President Putin imposed a series of restrictions on Turkish staff and products. Credit: Reuters

Russia has announced a series of economic sanctions against Turkey after the downing of a Russian jet near the Syrian border.

In a series of restrictions announced by the Kremlin, President Vladimir Putin imposed:

  • Restrictions on imports of some Turkish products
  • Limits on the operations of some Turkish firms based in Russia
  • Russian tour operators were told to refrain from selling holidays to Turkey
  • Russian companies are to also restrict hiring Turkish staff from January 1, 2016.

Tensions between the two countries have been fraught since Turkey shot down a Russian military jet near the Syrian border on November 24.

One pilot survived but the other was reportedly killed by militants on the ground.

Turkey claims it issued repeated warnings to the plane saying it was in their airspace before it was shot down.

But the surviving Russian pilot Captain Konstantin Murakhtin maintained he did not violate Turkey's airspace and that he heard no prior warnings.


Turkish president 'saddened' by downing of Russian jet

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he wished it had never happened. Credit: Reuters

The Turkish President has said he is "truly saddened" by his country's downing of a Russian military jet and wishes it had not happened.

It is the first time Recep Tayyip Erdogan has expressed regret over the incident.

He added he hoped something like this never occurs again and that neither country should allow the incident to escalate.


Turkish President warns Russia not to 'play with fire'

Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan has issued a warning to Russia Credit: Bernd von Jutrczenka/DPA

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has issued a stark message to Russia, warning them not to "play with fire" in the wake of a dispute over the downing of a Russian warplane.

He said: "We very sincerely recommend to Russia not to play with fire.

"We really attach a lot of importance to our relations with Russia... We don't want these relations to suffer harm in any way."

The warning came as Turkey made claims that Russia's criticism of the shooting down of the jet near the Syrian border on Monday, and the country's subsequent threats of economic sanctions, had been "unacceptable".

Russia's government has reportedly been drawing up measures including freezing some joint investment projects and restricting food imports from Turkey after what one politician branded as the "intentional murder of our soldiers".

Calls for Corbyn to resign over Syria vote revolt

Senior Labour MPs have called for Jeremy Corbyn to resign as tensions within the party rise over whether Britain should join airstrikes on Syria.

It comes after the party leader told MPs in a letter that he could not support military intervention against the so-called Islamic State in the country, sparking a furious backlash from shadow cabinet members who had not yet agreed their position on the matter.

Jeremy Corbyn faces calls to resign Credit: PA

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, former minister John Spellar said Mr Corbyn's behaviour over the vote had been "unacceptable".

It's absolutely right for him to put that view in the shadow cabinet. It's right for them to discuss it.

They thought they were going away to resume that discussion on Monday. He's now trying to pre-empt that and whip up a storm inside the party.

Certainly... they should not resign. They should hold on to those places. If anyone should resign after this incident, it should be Jeremy Corbyn.

– John Spellar, MP for Warley

Another former minister, Fiona Mactaggart, echoed his sentiments - despite saying she was not convinced by the case for bombing either. Speaking to BBC Radio Berkshire, she said:

[Corbyn] hasn't got a strategy to lead the party from where it is to where it needs to be and the people of the country can see that. I think it probably is unsustainable.

I think [quitting] would be a sensible strategy because I think that the division at the moment is causing real problems.

– Fiona Mactaggart, MP for Slough

Cameron urges Labour MPs to 'do the right thing' on Syria

David Cameron has urged Labour MPs to back plans for the RAF to join airstrikes in Syria, saying they should "do the right thing" and "vote on the basis of the arguments".

David Cameron addressed Commons yesterday Credit: PA

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn sparked a furious backlash from MPs when he announced that he could not support military intervention, despite the shadow cabinet not having agreed a position on the issue.

Frontbenchers including shadow education secretary Emily Thornberry have warned that Corbyn faces a rebellion if he tries to whip MPs into voting with him.

Speaking in Malta ahead of a Commonwealth summit, the Prime Minister encouraged wavering MPs to support his motion, saying he believed there was a "compelling case" to take "effective action" in Syria.

I thought many Members of Parliament on all sides of the House of Commons yesterday agreed there was a compelling case, so I would urge all of them to vote on the basis of the arguments for effective action on a compelling case to keep our country safe.

Vote on those arguments and we can do the right thing.

– David Cameron
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