MOSCOW, November 27. Russia will not return to visa-free regime with Turkey, if this country will continue to help the “Islamic state” (ISIS, a terrorist group banned in Russia) and will continue to “drive” the bilateral relations to a standstill. This opinion was expressed to journalists by the Chairman of the Duma Committee on international Affairs Alexei Pushkov.
© Sergey Bobylev/TASS
Russia has decided to suspend a visa-free regime with Turkey from 1 January 2016
The Minister of foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov following meeting with Syrian counterpart Walid Muallem said that the Russian leadership has decided to suspend from 1 January the visa-free regime that exists between Russia and Turkey.
The validity of the measures taken by the Russian Federation, and the ability to restore a visa-free regime will depend on two circumstances, believes Pushkov. So, the main factor, in his view, this state of Russian-Turkish relations. “If Turkey will continue to drive this relationship to a deadlock, will continue de facto to help the militants (formerly ISIS), will not control their movement on their own territory and would provide them with everything necessary, will support their action in Syria, then, of course, we will not be able to return to a visa – free regime,” he said.
© Sergei Ilnitsky/Pool photo via AP archive
“Vague explanations”: Putin about Turkey’s position on su-24 and illegal oil shipments
Moreover, Moscow’s position on this issue will depend on the success of the actions of those who are already fighting and will fight with the IG, continued the head of the Duma Committee. “A serious weakening ISIL, squeezing him with those territories it now occupies, the deprivation of his consolidated basis, which it now received in the form of 40% of Iraq and 30% in Syria. I think this removes largely the danger of the actions of Islamic militants in the broader scale,” he explained. “If you smash the headquarters of ISIL, it will be easier to fight the terrorist threat,” – said Pushkov.
To weed out suspicious people
Pushkov believes that the suspension of visa-free regime with Turkey “reflects a sharp deterioration in relations that has occurred through the fault of the Turkish side”. “We must reckon with the fact that Turkey is a transit territory for terrorists. And it’s not just transit people, but also the transit of arms, of transport, which is directed into the zone of action of the ISIL with weapons and other necessary materials,” – said the Deputy.
© Valery Matytsin/TASS
History of visa-free regime between Russia and Turkey. Dossier
According to him, Russia is well aware that “if Turkey’s territory – the zone of free action the ISIL militants easily cross the border in that and in the opposite direction, one cannot exclude that some of these fighters will be sent to Russia for the preparation of terrorist acts on the territory of Russia”. “And I think that the introduction of the visa regime will definitely allow you to weed out the people who can arouse suspicion, whereas a visa-free regime is the gate wide open, it’s everyone travels at a presentation of a foreign passport, and to weed out anybody here, anybody is almost impossible to trace,” – said the head of the Duma Committee.
Similar measures in Europe
In this context, Pushkov recalled that France had closed its borders to open the entrance, and Europe discussed the idea of closing external borders of the EU. “It is linked with the terrorist threat and the terrorist attack that happened in Paris,” he said. Russia, for its part, “adopt measures that reflect reality, which is that we have dramatically worsened relations with Turkey, that the Turkish leadership does not want to admit his guilt and instead to apologize, act with some very strange assertions that they “did not know” that it was a Russian plane, or that if it happens again, then the Turkish side will do the same”, he said. “That is, in fact, make further threats in our address, and this reflects the fact that Turkey does absolutely nothing to block the constant human transit between its territory and the territory of the “Islamic state”. We couldn’t react,” concluded the head of the Committee.
The suspension of visa-free regime with Turkey: the reaction of Russian politicians
The attack on su-24M
On Tuesday, the fighter from the Turkish air force F-16 shot down Russian bomber su-24M, which, according to Ankara, had violated the country’s airspace near the border with Syria. The defense Ministry claims that the su-24M was extremely over Syrian territory and that “violations of the airspace of Turkey.” The crew of su-24M managed to eject, but one of the two pilots was killed by ground fire. The second pilot rescued and taken to base. In search of the pilots was attended by two helicopters Mi-8. One of the cars came under fire and made an emergency landing. One marine soldier was killed. The others aboard the helicopter were evacuated.