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Russian diplomat says Russia-Turkey crisis indirectly influencing atmosphere in OSCE

December 14, 2015, 21:58 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The OSCE member countries are still split over the Ukrainian crisis and topics linked with the Turkish-Syrian troubles and Turkey’s actions in respect of Russia could cause an additional crisis
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MOSCOW, December 14. /TASS/. The current crisis in the Russian-Turkish relations is indirectly impacting the atmosphere in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Russia’s Permanent Representative at the OSCE Alexander Lukashevich said on Monday.

"It [the crisis in Russia-Turkey relations] is not addressed directly but undoubtedly influences the general atmosphere in the organization," he said in an interview with the Rossiya-1 television channel.

He said the OSCE member countries were still split over the Ukrainian crisis and topics linked with the "Turkish-Syrian troubles and Turkey’s actions in respect of Russia" could cause "an additional crisis."

"There are much more specialized formats that could and should be used to work on these problems," he said. "This topic will be raised this or that way within the framework of discussions at the Permanent Council and at the security cooperation forum."

The crisis in relations between Moscow and Ankara followed the November 24 incident when a Turkish fighter jet gunned down a Russian Su-24 bomber returning from an anti-terrorist mission in Syria. Following the incident, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that Turkey’s attack on the Russian warplane would have "very serious consequences" for the bilateral relations. On November 28, the Russian president signed a decree on measure to ensure Russia’s national security and protect Russian nationals from criminal and other illegal actions and on the use of special economic measures in respect of Turkey.

Thus, the decree imposed visa travel from January 1, 2016, banned charter flights between Russia and Turkey and bound Russian travel operators not to sell travel packages to Turkey. Visa restrictions however will not be applicable to Turkish citizens who have temporary sojourn permits or leaves to remain in Russia and those commissioned to work at diplomatic missions. Apart from that, the Russian government imposed a ban on imports of a number of Turkish food products and suspended visa-free travel with that country from January 1, 2016.

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