Putin cancels ban on charter flights between Russia, Turkey
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday instructed the government to take measures to cancel the ban on charter flights between the Russian Federation and the Turkish Republic. A relevant instruction is contained in the amendments signed by the president to the decree "On measures to ensure the national security of the Russian Federation and protection of citizens of the Russian Federation from criminal and other illegal actions and on the use of special economic measures against the Turkish Republic." The document was published by the Kremlin press service. The decree on sanctions against Turkey, amended by the Russian head of state, was signed November 28, 2015. Besides charter flights and sale of tours, restrictions touched upon a whole number of spheres. In particular, imports to Russia of separate types of Turkish products were restricted. Vegetables and fruits constituting the basis of Turkish exports were banned. From January 1, 2016 Russia suspended the visa-free regime for Turkish nationals. Also from January 1, organizations under the jurisdiction of Turkey or controlled by Turkish nationals were banned from fulfilling some types of work, including construction and tour operator business. The Turkish Air Force’s F-16 fighter on November 24, 2015 shot down a Russian Sukhoi Su-24M bomber, involved in Russia's antiterrorism operation in Syria, that Ankara claimed violated the country’s airspace on the border with Syria. Russia’s Defense Ministry said the Su-24M was above Syrian territory and "there was no violation of Turkey’s airspace." Pilot Oleg Peshkov was killed by militants from the ground after ejecting, the second pilot was rescued and taken to the Russian base. The incident resulted in the severing of nearly all trade and economic ties between the two countries. Ankara refused to apologize for the downed jet and death of the pilot. Moscow put the blame for the incident on the Turkish authorities. On Monday, June 27, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists that President Tayyip Erdogan sent Russian President Vladimir Putin a message in which he apologized for the downed Su-24 plane and "underscored the readiness to do everything possible for restoration of the traditionally friendly relations between Turkey and Russia.".