Turkish President, Mr Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed that his country would not retaliate against Russia’s “emotional” sanctions imposed after the disputed downing of a Russian war plane.
Russia has imposed several economic and political sanctions on its former ally-Turkey ”” a key tourist destination ”” and is set to ban the import of Turkish fruit and vegetables as well as threatening other measures.
“(Russia) is our strategic partner, we will continue to provide them with products including food,” Erdogan said in an interview with Turkish reporters on board his presidential plane.
Erdogan said the Russian actions were not in line with “state dignity”.
“Turkey in this regard retains its nobility. We are not using the same language as them”¦ We are expecting them to change their language,” Erdogan said, accusing Moscow of reacting to the incident in an “emotional” way.
Erdogan said there was “no question” of Turkey retaliating against Russian citizens living in the country. “Reciprocity is something that must be done within the limits of the law.”
Russia supplies Turkey with more than half of its natural gas supplies but Erdogan said he was not troubled by the risk of Russia cutting down exports.
“We have not lived with natural gas all our lives”¦ this nation is accustomed to hardship,” said Erdogan, emphasising that Turkey had suppliers other than Russia.