Russia is thinking about its moves after a SU-24 was shot down by Turkish jets on the border with Syria. Moscow will strengthen air operations in the Middle Eastern Country and defend its bombers with an avant-garde anti-missile system, but does not plan any military reprisals against Ankara. It was reiterated by the permanent Russian representative to the EU, Vladimir Chizov, in an interview granted to Euronews which was re-launched by the Russian agencies. “On a military level, we are certainly not going to declare war to Turkey – he explained – but the future operations of our air forces in Syria will be more protected”. This incident, he continued, “this provocation launched by Turkey will have negative consequences on our bilateral relations”.
As a first step, the Kremlin has already placed the missile cruiser “Moskva” in front of the Alawite coast and ordered the deployment of its most modern anti-aircraft systems, S-400, in Latakia. The only answer, for now, will be given on an economic level. Kremlin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said he is unaware of any plans to introduce sanctions or an embargo.
If anything, the measure will consist in stricter controls on food importation from the Asian country. It was announced by the Russian Minister of Agriculture, Alexander Tkachev, who indicated the reasons for this decision in the fact that “Turkish producers have repeatedly violated Russian standards” and this led to the request to introduce procedures of stricter control on the importation of agricultural products and foodstuffs from Turkey and to intensify controls not only on the border., but also in the places of their production on the Turkish territory. According to the Russian minister, about 15 per cent of the Turkish agricultural products do not meet Russian standards, because since the beginning of the year, federal authorities have recorded 40 episodes in which traces of prohibited and harmful substances were detected in products of animal origin coming from Turkey. A decision that might seem not to be connected to the SU-24 case. Yet, considering its timing and methods, it cannot be alien to the incident.