Turkey won't get away with "tomato bans" – Putin

13:00, 03 December 2015
World
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Russia will not indulge in sabre rattling, but Turkey should brace for a far harsher response than the decision to impose restrictions on the export of tomatoes to Russia, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in the annual address to the Federal Assembly on Thursday, according to Russian news agency TASS.

REUTERS

"Nobody will ever see a nervous, hysterical reaction, risky for us and the whole world. A reaction that might yield some external effects or, possibly, brief and timeserving gains," he said, TASS reports.

According to Putin, there will be nothing like this.

"Responsibility for the country and the people will be the basis of our actions. We are not going to indulge in sabre rattling and we will not do that," he said.

"If somebody may have thought that after committing a treacherous war crime – the killing of our people – it will be possible to get away with restrictions on tomato trade or some other restrictions in the building and other industries, they are grossly mistaken. We shall remind them many a time what they have done and they will more than once feel regret what they have done. We are perfectly aware of what action is to be taken," Putin stressed.

The Russian president has accused Ankara of supporting terrorists but said he considered the Turkish people friendly.

"We know who in Turkey makes money and allows terrorists to make profit," he said.

According to him, this money is used by gunmen for "recruiting mercenaries, purchasing weapons, organizing inhuman terrorist attacks directed against our citizens, citizens of France, Lebanon, Mali and other countries."

The Russian president recalled that militants who operated in the North Caucasus in the 1990s and 2000s had taken refuge and received financial backing in Turkey. "And now they are still spotted there," he said.

"Meanwhile, the Turkish people are good, hard-working and gifted. We have a lot of old and reliable friends in Turkey. I will emphasize that we do not equate them and the part of the current ruling elite, which bears direct responsibility for the deaths of our service members in Syria," the Russian leader said.

"We will not forget this complicity with terrorists. We have always considered treachery to be the worst and the most shameful thing. Let those in Turkey who shot our pilots in the back, who are hypocritically trying to justify themselves, their actions and cover up the crimes of terrorists know this," he said.

Putin noted he was curious as to why the Turkish authorities had issued the order to shoot down a Russian warplane.

"Any questions, any problems and contradictions that we did not even see should have been resolved in a totally different way. We were ready to cooperate with Turkey on the most sensitive for it issues and were ready to go as far as its allies were unwilling to go. Maybe, only Allah knows why they did that," the Russian president said.

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