Russia withdraws visa exemption to Turkish citizens

MOSCOW, Nov. 28 (MNA) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced on Friday the suspension of the visa exemption regime with Turkey, another measure to respond to the downing of a military plane in Syria, termed here as a hostile act.

Lavrov said that the Russian authorities decided to suspend the preferential regulation that frees from visa requirement the Turkish citizens as of January 1st, 2016.

The Russian top diplomat invoked a real, unexagerated threat from Ankara's behavior in the wake of the recent downing of a Russian military plane in Syrian territory by an F-16 fighter, which made tensions between Moscow and Ankara escalate to unprecedented levels.

In an assessment of the circumstances of the incident, the General Staff of Russia said it was a deliberate, carefully planned action, according to radioelectronic surveillance data.

These are real threats and with all responsibility we inform our citizens, said Lavrov, adding that there is a traffic of radical fighters moving through Turkey in all directions.

The visa exemption follows others in the economic, military and humanitarian fields. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev gave instructions to the Cabinet to examine a package of restrictions affecting the economic and commercial links and the joint investment projects, above all in the energy sector.

Chairman of the International Relations Committee of the State Duma of Russia, Alexei Pushkov, said the visa exemption regime will not be restored unless Turkey stops aiding the terrorist ISIL.





News Code 112344


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