Ankara-Moscow visa-free regime freeze to leave Russian economy unaffected

Türkiye Materials 27 November 2015 22:08 (UTC +04:00)

Earlier in the day, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced Russia would suspend its visa-free regime with Turkey from January 1, 2016.

"Some 69,000 [Turkish] citizens indicated 'tourism' as the purpose of their arrival [in Russia], about 31,000 arrived on business trips, whereas others came on personal visits or with other goal... In other words, the entry flow from Turkey is so insignificant that it will not affect the Russian economy," the spokesperson told RIA Novosti.

Turkish-Russian relations have soured dramatically after the downing of a Russian Su-24 jet by Turkey in Syria on Tuesday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the plane was downed by an air-to-air missile launched by a Turkish F-16 jet over Syrian territory. Ankara claimed that it downed the Russian airplane because it violated Turkish airspace. The Russian General Staff and the Syrian Air Defense Command have refuted the claims.