Russian frigate fires warning shots at Turkish fishing vessel

(From RT/Sputnik)

A Russian destroyer had to open warning fire as a Turkish fishing vessel sailed on a collision course towards it and did not respond to calls from the warship, the Russian Defense Ministry reported.

Russian Smetlivy destroyer

Smetlivy destroyer

The incident happened in the northern part of the Aegean Sea some 12 nautical miles from the Greek island of Lemnos, the ministry said.

The crew of the Kashin-class guided missile destroyer Smetlivy spotted the Turkish fishing trawler some 1,000 meters from the Russian warship early on Sunday, the ministry said. The ship was sailing towards the destroyer and ignored calls for radio contact and other attempts to communicate.

When the Turkish vessel approached to about 600 meters, the Smetlivy opened small arms fire at a spot in front of the trawler, taking care to avoid any risk of hitting the Turkish ship itself, the report said.

The ministry said the Turkish fishing ship changed course after that and kept about 540 meters from the Smetlivy, but did not contact the Russian warship.

“Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov has summoned the military attaché of the Turkish embassy in Russia in connection with the incident in the Aegean Sea,” the statement said.

There is serious tension between Turkey and Russia after an incident on the Turkish-Syrian border, in which Turkish fighter jets shot down a Russian bomber plane conducting airstrikes against terrorist forces in Syria. Turkey said the move was justified by a 17-second incursion into Turkish airspace.

The Turkish attack against the Russian jet has not only affected ties between Moscow and Ankara, but also may have damaged Turkey’s interests in the international arena, Today’s Zaman reports.

Russia has a military base in Gyumri, in Armenia, close to the Turkish border. In addition, Russia has deployed Mi-24 and Mi-8 combat helicopters to its military base Erebuni near Yerevan.

If Russia stops gas supplies to Turkey, Ankara could rely on Azerbaijan. However, it is also in the sphere of Russian interests. Purchasing gas from Iran, Israel or Egypt may also be problematic.

After the Russian Su-24 was downed, Kyrgyzstan started to discuss cancelling its visa-free agreement with Turkey.

The number of countries Turkey has tensions with is rising, the article read. At the same time, it is likely that the estrangement between Moscow and Ankara will continue even if the tensions over the incident with the jet are settled.

“Judging by the actions of Russia and the statements from countries aligned with Russia, it seems Turkey may also experience problems beyond Moscow in its bilateral relations, including most of the former Soviet republics, which have traditionally had good ties with Ankara. Even some Central Asian countries, with their ethnic ties to Turkey, may have to readjust their relations out of fear of Russia’s wrath,” the article read.

Meanwhile, Israel announced it would not use the tensions between Russian and Turkey for reconciliation with Ankara, especially at a time when partnership is blooming between Jerusalem and the two of “Turkey’s historic foes” – Greece and Cyprus.

Categories: Middle East, Top News

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