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November 27, 2015 / 15 Kislev, 5776
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Posts Tagged ‘Russia’

Russia Shuts Border Gates to Turkish Trucks

Thursday, November 26th, 2015

Passengers and trucks traveling from Turkey are encountering new obstacles when they reach the Russian border, according to the Hurriyet Daily News website. This comes two days after a Turkish F-16 fighter jet shot down a Russian Su-24M warplane.

Turkey’s defense ministry said the warplane violated Ankara’s airspace despite repeated warnings – which were ignored — to redirect its flight path. The Russian navigator who was rescued 12 hours after ejecting from the flaming wreckage of his jet, denies ever having heard any of the warnings, and denies ever having left Syrian airspace.

“Russia has closed its border gates to Turkish trucks,” Fatih Sener, head of the International Transporters Association of Turkey (UND), told the Turkish news website.

The country’s trucks are now being subjected to “full examination” by Russian customs personnel, according to Turkish officials.

“Around 36,000 trucks carry goods from Turkey to Russia a year. Some 100-150 trucks are now being kept waiting at Russia’s borders. We face an uncertain situation here. No explanation has been made about the trucks which are on their way to Russia though Georgia, although the trucks are apparently being subjected to a ‘full examination’ on their way to Russia via Ukraine. This means all goods in the trucks will be unloaded and examined in detail at the Russia border, but such procedures can take days,” Sener said.

Russia already has ended security cooperation with Turkey and has asked Russians not to visit the country. Within the past day, the Kremlin also introduced new restrictions claiming that 15 percent of agricultural imports from Ankara suddenly do not meet “sanitary regulations.” This has resulted in Russia deciding to import tomatoes from Israel instead.

“Such problems are normal in the Middle East, but Russia is a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), so it should not behave like Egypt,” he added.

Actually, no goods are being permitted passage to Russia, in fact, according to Adnan Dalgakiran, head of the Machinery Exporters’ Association and a board member of the Turkish Exporters’ Assembly (TIM).

“The passing of Turkish trucks through Russian borders has halted now, including machinery,” he told a meeting of the Istanbul Chamber of Industry on Wednesday, according to Reuters. “No Turkish goods can enter Russia now.”

The same difficulties are being faced by the textiles sector, a major export for Turkey, as well. The country’s annual exports to Russia are around $1 billion, “but this has shrunk by 40 percent this year due to the economic problems in Russia,” Ismail Gülle, head of the Istanbul Textiles and Raw Materials Exporters Association, told Reuters.

“Any further shrinkage in our exports will create a big problem for us,” Gülle warned.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke yesterday (Wednesday, Nov. 25) by telephone with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov about the escalating tensions with Turkey.

The Secretary offered his condolences for the “loss of life in Tuesday’s incident,” according to a statement by the State Department.

Kerry also urged for “calm and dialogue between Turkish and Russian officials in the days ahead,” the statement continued. “He also stressed the need for both sides not to allow this incident to escalate tensions between their two countries or in Syria. The Secretary underscored the importance of progress toward a diplomatic solution in Syria continuing unabated.”

The only question is, of course, what Kerry meant by “progress toward a diplomatic solution in Syria.”

Russia Punishes Turkey by Importing Tomatoes from Israel

Thursday, November 26th, 2015

Russia may be giving a Thanksgiving turkey to Israel in the form of tomatoes that it will import following a sudden ban on accepting produce from Turkey, another punishment for Ankara’s downing a Russian plane this week.

Now that Turkey is a rotten tomato for Russia, Israel will benefit from the need to find 360,000 tons of tomatoes to replace the banned imports.

Russian President Vladimir Putin already has ended security cooperation with Turkey and has asked Russians not visit the country. Moscow invented a diplomatic reason for the ban of food imports from Turkey, claiming that 15 percent of the agricultural imports from Ankara suddenly do not meet “sanitary regulations.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists:

We’re not imposing any embargo.

These (restrictions) are introduced due to an increasing danger from various manifestations of extremism. Of course, additional control measures are taken. This is rather natural, especially taking into account the unpredictable actions of the Republic of Turkey.

Turkish media quoted a member of the Turkish Exporters Association as saying:

Turkish vegetables account for 20 percent of the total Russian imports of vegetables. Import of vegetables, tomatoes in the first place, will be substituted with those from Iran, Morocco, Israel, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan.

Israel’s benefiting from Turkey’s intercept of the Russian is a double punishment for Turkish President Recep Erdoğan, whose wounds from the Russian reaction will be salted with the bonus for Israel.

He has not forgiven Israel for boarding the IHH-terrorist infested Mavi Mamara ship five years ago and killing 10 IHH terrorists who tried to kill Navy officers stopping the vessel from breaking the maritime embargo on Hamas-controlled Gaza.

The only negative might be a rise in the price of tomatoes in Israeli supermarkets because of the increased demand from Russia.

Turkey Backpedals as Tensions Rise With Moscow, Says ‘Didn’t Know Downed Plane Was Russian’

Thursday, November 26th, 2015

Turkey is starting to dial down its defensive stance in the face of Russian rage over the death of one of its pilots, and says it is ready for “all kinds of cooperation” with Moscow officials after shooting down a Russian Sukhoi-24M fighter jet on Tuesday over what it said was Turkish airspace.

At the time, Turkish military officials said its air force radar controllers repeatedly warned the jet it was violating its airspace and to redirect its flight path, but received no response. On Wednesday, Turkey released a recording of those warnings; a second clip was also published by media that was picked up from an entirely independent source as well.

“The nationality of the plane was not known…and the rules of engagement were automatically used,” the Turkish military said in a statement released early Thursday. Russian defense and military attaches were invited to Ankara headquarters for an explanation of the incident, Turkish officials added.

Moreover, Turkish military leaders said their troops had set out on a search and rescue mission to try and find the pilots after the Sukhoi-24M was shot down.

However, Russia has escalated the issue, with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov claiming on Russian TV on Wednesday that Moscow had “serious doubts” the incident was “an unpremeditated act. It looks very much like a planned provocation,” he said.

The Russian defense ministry announced late Wednesday it would deploy S-400 anti-aircraft missiles in Syria at its Hmeymim air base near Latakia, less than 30 miles from the Turkish border. The missiles have a range of 250 kilometers (155 miles) according to the Missile Threat website.

Turkey Releases Recording of Warning to Russian Fighter Jet

Thursday, November 26th, 2015

The Turkish military has released to the public the recordings of the warnings that were broadcast to the Russian Sukhoi-24M warplane as it allegedly entered Turkey’s airspace on Tuesday, and before it was shot down.

Turkey says the same warning was broadcast every 30 seconds for five minutes before its F-16 fighter jet fired an air-to-air missile at the aircraft that was “violating its airspace,” for a total of 10 times.

Some aerospace analysts who have studied the radar map showing the “violation” say the Russian warplane could not have spent more than 17 seconds over Turkish territory.

Radar tracker visual of the flight path of the Russian Su-24M fighter jet shot down by the Turkish F-16 on Nov. 24, 2015.

Radar tracker visual of the flight path of the Russian Su-24M fighter jet shot down by the Turkish F-16 on Nov. 24, 2015.

The warnings — which rescued Russian navigator pilot Captain Konstantin Murakhtin denies ever having heard — were recorded by at least two separate sources.

A civilian pilot from Lebanon now has told Al-Arabyia that he also heard the repeated warnings — and not for the first time — being broadcast to “unknown aircraft” by a Turkish Air Force radar station. Each time, he said, the warnings were “met with silence” as they were from the Russian fighter jet “this time as well.” In fact, he said he has heard those warnings at least two or three times a week as he flies a plane for Middle East Airlines, Lebanon’s national carrier, although there is no way to confirm it.

On Tuesday, he heard the warnings again, but this time he said the air controller’s voice sounded much more tense and even urgent. Because of that, the Lebanese pilot recorded a 17-second clip of the warning with his smartphone, which was then passed on to Al-Arabiya.

According to The Telegraph and The Independent, the voice on the recording is heard saying in English:

“Unknown air traffic position onto Humeymim 020, redirect to 26 miles. This is Turkish Air Force speaking – en guard. You are approaching Turkish airspace. Change your heading south immediately.”

Turkey released that recording to prove those warnings from the Turkish Air Force radar station to the Russian warplane were, in fact, issued not once, but numerous times and to refute claims by the Russian Defense Ministry that no warnings were issued.

In addition to the recording from the Lebanese pilot, another clip was recorded on the international UHF emergency frequency 243.000 MHz by a reader of The Aviationist who “wishes to remain anonymous.”

According to this report as well, The Aviationist points out “we must highlight that similar messages have been radioed to unknown/Russian aircraft in the vicinity of the Turkish airspace in the past as well and recorded/heard by radio-hams and airband listeners located in Turkey and Greece.”

If such is the case, then in fact Turkey did indeed broadcast numerous messages to the Russian pilots; but the warnings did not come from the Turkish F-16 fighter jet which shot down the Su-24M. The pilots of the Turkish F-16 never contacted the pilots of the Russian Su-24M at all.

It is entirely possible that in the land of “diplospeak” this discrepancy point the way out of what might otherwise be the start of a nasty new conflict that could be fanned by interested parties into a third world war. Let’s hope so. It’s the first Russian warplane to be shot down by a NATO member since the end of World War II.

Rescued Russian Pilot Denies Turkish Contacts, Leaving Syria — But Turkey Releases Recording of Warnings

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

The pilot navigator of the Russian Sukhoi-24 fighter jet that was shot down by a Turkish F-16 says his aircraft never violated Turkey’s airspace and insists he was never contacted by Turkish air traffic control, either.

But Ankara released recordings to the media on Wednesday of the warnings that were repeated over and over, ordering the pilot to redirect his aircraft.

When he was rescued, Captain Konstantin Murakhtin vehemently denied ever leaving Syrian airspace.

“No, this is out of the question even for a one-second possibility, as we were at the altitude of 6,000 meters and the weather was clear,” he told the Rossiya-1 TV Channel in Russia. “All our mission flight was in my personal full control until the explosion of the missile.

“There was not even a slightest threat of getting into Turkey,” he said. “In fact, there were no warnings either via radio communication or optically. There were no contacts at all. That’s why we flew heading combat course as per normal,” he added, the TASS news agency reported.

“If they wanted to warn us they could have come out by flying on parallel courses. But this did not happen. And the missile came to our jet tail all of a sudden… We didn’t even see it to have time for missile evasive maneuver.”

Murakhtin told the interviewer he intends to ask permission to stay at his current base in Syria when he is discharged from the hospital. “I’ll ask the commanders for permission to stay on this airbase,” he said. “I have a debt to pay off on the part of my commander (the pilot who was shot dead by the Turkmen fighters on the ground as he parachuted from the burning warplane – ed.).”

A team of 18 Syrian special ops personnel carried out the 12-hour mission together with six members of an elite Hezbollah guerrilla unit to rescue the Russian airman, who was tracked to his hiding place via a radio signal. The body of the dead pilot, Lt. Col. Oleg Peshkov, was not recovered. A rescue helicopter sent to search for the two pilots was also shot down, this time by Syrian rebel fire, and forced to make an emergency landing. A Russian Marine on board the helicopter, Alexander Pozynich, was also killed.

Turkey insisted it shot down the Russian jet because the aircraft had violated its airspace and its pilots did not respond to repeated warnings from military personnel. The Russian defense ministry claimed the Su-24 never left Syrian airspace.

But a civilian pilot from Lebanon now says he also heard the repeated warnings — and not for the first time this month, either. In fact, he said he has heard those warnings at least two or three times a week as he flies a plane for Middle East Airlines, Lebanon’s national carrier, although there is no way to confirm that claim.

On Tuesday, he heard the warnings again, but this time he said the air traffic controller’s voice sounded much more tense and even urgent. Because of that, the Lebanese pilot recorded a 17-second clip of the warnings with his smartphone, which was then passed on to Al-Arabiya.



Turkey has released that recording to prove those warnings from the Turkish Air Force radar station to the Russian warplane were, in fact, issued not once, but numerous times.

Putin: Erdoğan Supporting Extremists, Forcing Islamization of Turkey

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

(JNi.media) Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that the current Turkish leadership purposefully supports the country’s Islamization, TASS reported Wednesday. “The problem is not in the tragedy we faced yesterday (the Su-24 downing), the problem is much deeper,” Purtin told reporters. “We see — and not only we, I assure you that the entire world sees — that the current leadership of Turkey has been for a number of years pursuing a purposeful policy of … the Islamization of the country.”

Putin noted that Islam was a great world religion, which is one of the major religions in Russia as well. “We ourselves support Islam and will continue doing so, but the point at issue is the support of a more radical branch. And that in itself creates a very unfavorable environment, the atmosphere that one cannot see at first sight,” Putin said.

The Russian president warned that Russian nationals in Turkey may be in serious danger. “After yesterday’s event, we cannot rule out other incidents, and if they happen, we will have to respond somehow. Our citizens in Turkey can, certainly, be in serious danger,” Putin said, adding that he supported his Foreign Ministry’s recommendations urging Russians not to visit Turkey. There are an estimated 10,000 Russian vacationers currently in Turkey, according to TASS.

“After such tragic events as the downing of our plane and the pilot’s death, this is a forced measure and the Foreign Ministry is right to warn our nationals of the dangers,” Putin said.

According to TASS, after being downed by a Turkish F-16 fighter jet on Tuesday morning, both pilots ejected from their Su-24 bomber, which Russia claims had not violated Turkey’s air space. One was killed by gunfire from the ground, the other was rescued by Russian and Syrian forces and brought to a Russian air base nearby.

Russia’s Federal Tourism Agency has asked the country’s tour operators to suspend selling holiday packages to Turkey.

Putin’s Spokesman: No Idea Why Russia’s Grand Mufti Wished Israel Same Fate as Crimea

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

(JNi.media) Talgat Tadzhuddin, Chief Mufti of Russia and head of the Central Muslim Spiritual Directorate, is a crafty political animal, judging by the fact that despite having been originally appointed by the Soviet government he has managed to retain his position through the various transmutations of the post-Soviet era.

Tadzhuddin is probably the most visible Muslim clergyman in Russia, in his capacity as leader of all the Muslims in Moscow and Central Russia. As such he has lent great assistance to his president when, back in October, he declared his “resolute support for the deeply respected President Putin and his supporters in Russia’s higher echelons of power, who, in the Federation Council, have unanimously approved his proposal to allow the use of the Russian armed forces abroad, being strictly guided by the counter-terrorism principles of international law on the one hand, and on the other based on a formal aid request from the legitimate government of fraternal Syria in its fight against the united forces of chaos and terrorism.”

Which is why many in Russia wondered this week, why the Moscow Mufti told reporters, following a meeting with the president: “Regarding the question of Syria, I proposed to Vladimir Putin that he should treat Israel the way he treated Crimea, but Vladimir Vladimorovitch refused.”

According a journalist who was present at the press meeting, the room responded to Tadzhuddin with “laughter and applause.”

Apparently, someone in Israel did not think this was very funny, because the official Russian news agency TASS on Wednesday issued a short item saying the Kremlin believes that Russia’s Supreme Mufti was joking when he said that Syria and Israel should enjoy the same kind of treatment as Crimea.

“I’m unable to make any comment on this statement. Honestly, I have no idea what he had in mind,” Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the media. “Apparently, that was some kind of joke by the Supreme Mufti. It could’ve been nothing but a joke,” Peskov said.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/putins-spokesman-no-idea-why-russias-grand-mufti-wished-israel-same-fate-as-crimea/2015/11/25/

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