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Turkey to impose sanctions on Russia if needed: PM Davutoglu

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu delivers a speech during an AKP meeting at the Grand National Assembly of Turkey in Ankara on December 8, 2015. (AFP photo)

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has hinted that his government would impose sanctions against Russia if need be, the latest sign of deteriorating ties since Turkey downed a Russian jet.

Premier Davutoglu told lawmakers of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in parliament on Tuesday that the government has already discussed a series of possible measures against Russia.

However, the premier noted that authorities in Ankara would remain open to talks with Moscow.

Ties between Russia and Turkey have been tense since Turkey's military downed a Russian warplane near Turkey’s border with Syria back in November.

Kremlin has already imposed sanctions on Ankara, including a ban on the import of some Turkish foods.

Turkey was the main beneficiary of Russia’s ban on food imports from the European Union and the US. Russian officials say they plan to replace produce imports from Turkey with those from Central Asian countries, Iran and Morocco.

It has also banned Russian tourists from visiting Turkey, dealing a major blow to Turkey’s tourism sector.

Moscow has already announced an end to visa-free travel for Turks to Russia and terminated extension of labor contracts for Turks working there.

It has also ordered a halt to chartered flights from Russia to Turkey and vacation packages for a stay in Turkey.

A queue of trucks is seen at the Georgian-Russian border near the village of Stepantsminda on November 26, 2015. Russia stepped up controls of Turkish imports passing through Georgia following the downing of the Russian jet on the Syrian border on November 24. (AFP Photo)

Meanwhile, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced that Turkey is seeking alternatives to Russian energy amid fears that Moscow may halt gas and oil supply to Turkey.

Turkey relies on Russia for 55 percent of its natural gas and 30 percent of its oil.

Meanwhile, Mehmet Simsek, Turkish deputy prime minister, has said that Ankara could lose nearly nine billion dollars due to ongoing tensions with its second biggest trade partner Russia.

"In the worst-case scenario, which is zero relations with Russia, we are talking about a loss of nine billion dollars," Simsek told private NTV television on Monday.


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