Relations between Russia and Turkey have been strained ever since a Russian Sukhoi Su-24M bomber was downed by a Turkish F-16 fighter jet over the border between Turkey and Syria in late November. Turkey claimed the shooting was done because the bomber was violating Turkish airspace. Turkey also made a statement professing their awareness of the presence of Russian warplanes in the Syrian area, leading Russia to believe that the strike was a premeditated attack. In retaliation, Vladimir Putin signed a series of economic sanctions against Ankara on November 28. Now, Russia is discussing passing additional sanctions against Turkey.

The initial sanctions signed by Putin include a ban on employment of Turkish citizens by Russian employers, food import bans, and restrictions on charter flights. This decree is set to go into effect by the new year. The planned additional sanctions are also a consequence of the Su-24 downing, as acknowledged by Putin. While Russia does not wish to fully cease relations with Turkey, the measures are intended as a strong punishment for the alleged "stab in the back". Currently, Russia is in process of decoding the Su-24's black box. The flight recorder on the plane is damaged, inhibiting efforts to discover information about the flight. If information from the black box can be retrieved, it will be a further step in determining whether the bomber actually did violate Turkey's airspace.

In the meantime, the already-decreed economic sanctions and plans for additional ones will follow through as planned. The impact of the sanctions on Turkey will be seen come the new year.

Share this article