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Tensions in Turkey-Russia relations may be settled by March — minister

December 21, 2015, 12:44 UTC+3 ANKARA
According toTurkey’s Customs and Trade Minister, the volume of goods that are sent back from Russian customs offices has decreased over the last several days
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A police officer outside the embassy of Turkey in Moscow

A police officer outside the embassy of Turkey in Moscow

© Alexandr Sherbak/TASS

ANKARA, December 21. /TASS/. The crisis in relations between Moscow and Ankara may be settled by March 2016, Turkey’s Customs and Trade Minister Bülent Tüfenkçi told the HaberTurk daily.

"We’re doing our best to prevent both Russian and Turkish people from bearing losses. We assume that [the crisis] won’t last long and in February-March tensions will ease," he said.

According to the minister, the volume of goods that are sent back from Russian customs offices has decreased over the last several days. "As of today one aircraft and 27 ships were sent back from Russia," he said, adding that "the situation is getting better gradually."

The relations between Russia and Turkey have been locked in a spat over the downing of a Russian Su-24M bomber on November 24 by the Turkish Air Force’s fighter jet. Ankara claims the bomber violated the Turkish air space in the area of the border with Syria. However, Russia’s Defense Ministry said the Su-24M plane stayed exclusively over the Syrian territory and "there was no violation of the Turkish air space."

On November 28, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on measures to ensure Russia’s national security and to protect its citizens from criminal and other illegal activities and to impose special economic measures against Turkey. In line with the decree, the Russian tour agencies and tour operators are instructed to suspend selling tours to Turkey and the government is ordered to impose a ban on chartered flights between the two countries. Also, Russia suspends employment of Turkish workers starting from January 1, 2016, imposes bans or restrictions on imports of certain goods and tightens control over activities of Turkish haulage companies.

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