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Putin turns up the heat on Turkey in jet row

By Staff Reporter

Published 28/11/2015

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

Russia announced it would suspend visa-free travel with Turkey as the row over the downing of a Russian warplane escalated.

Moscow will halt the existing regime from January 1, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced.

He added that Turkey had become a conduit for terrorists and had been reluctant to share information about people accused of involvement in terrorist activities.

The move comes amid a bitter spat between Moscow and Ankara over a jet downed on Tuesday.

Russia has since restricted tourist travel, left Turkish trucks stranded at the border, confiscated large quantities of Turkish food imports and started preparing a raft of other economic sanctions.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan refused to apologise for the incident, which Ankara said came after the jet flew in Turkish airspace for 17 seconds.

Mr Erdogan said he had tried in vain to speak by phone to Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss the situation. He also expressed hope they could meet at the sidelines of a climate summit in Paris next Monday.

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