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Russian ambassador in Turkey summoned to Turkish Foreign Ministry

December 07, 2015, 20:14 UTC+3 ANKARA

Media say the ambassador was summoned over the incident with a sailor of a Russian warship who was holding a man-portable air defense system on his shoulder when passing through the Bosphorus

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© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

ANKARA, December 7 /TASS/. The Russian embassy in Turkey confirms that Russian Ambassador Andrey Karpov has been summoned to the Turkish Foreign Ministry, the embassy’s spokesman, Igor Mityakov, told TASS on Monday.

"We confirm that a meeting has taken place. The ambassador met department head Burak Ozugergin (responsible for political, maritime, aviation and border affairs). We are not giving any comments on the content of their conversation," the spokesperson said.

 The Turkish nationwide television channel NTV said in a live broadcast on Monday that Andrey Karpov visited the Turkish Foreign Ministry on Monday over an incident involving a sailor of a Russian warship who was holding a man-portable air defense system on his shoulder when passing through the Bosphorus.

 The Russian diplomat was received by a department head responsible for political, maritime, aviation and border affairs instead of a deputy foreign minister as required by the protocol. The Turkish side demanded for explanations over the incident during a meeting that lasted for about 50 minutes.

A photograph of allegedly Russian sailor who was standing on the deck of a Russian warship with a man-portable air defense system on his shoulder appeared in Turkish newspapers last Sunday. The Turkish side described the incident as an "open provocation."

The relations between Moscow and Ankara worsened as an F-16 fighter jet of the Turkish Air Force shot down a Russian Su-24M bomber. Ankara claimed the Su-24M bomber violated the Turkish air space in the area of the border with Syria. However, Russia’s Defence Ministry said the Su-24M plane stayed exclusively over the Syrian territory and "there was no violation of the Turkish air space."

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that the attack on the bomber will have "serious consequences" for the Russian-Turkish relations. According to Putin, the Turkish Air Force’s attack on the Russian combat plane that took part in the operation against terrorists in Syria and posed no threat to Turkey is a "stab in the back of Russia."

On November 28, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree that suspends employment of Turkish workers starting from January 1, 2016. Also, Russia suspends the visa-free travel agreement with Turkey, imposes bans or restrictions on imports of certain goods (the list will be determined by the government). Besides, travel agencies are advised against selling holiday packages to Turkey. The government is instructed to tighten control over activities of Turkish haulage companies and to ban chartered flights between Russia and Turkey with the goal of ensuring security within Russia.

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