MOSCOW, More punitive measures by Russia against Turkey are coming, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned in his annual address Thursday to his country’s Federal Assembly.
While expressing admiration for Turkey and its people, he referred to Turkey’s leadership as a “ruling gang.” Earlier this week Russia, escalating tensions after Turkey shot down a Russian fighter plane, accused Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his family of illegally profiting from oil purchases from the Islamic State.
“We know who in Turkey makes money and allows terrorists to make profit,” Putin said in his state-of-the-nation speech. He added Turkey is funding “mercenaries, purchasing weapons, organizing inhuman terrorist attacks directed against our citizens, citizens of France, Lebanon, Mali and other countries.” He also noted militants who engaged in terrorism in Russia’s North Caucasus during the 1990s and early 2000s had Turkish funding and support, “and now they are still spotted there.”
Economic sanctions against Turkey, for the downing of the plane, will be intensified, Putin warned, saying “restrictions on tomato trade or some other restrictions” will be increased.
“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.
“Only Allah knows why they did this,” he added.
He also called for a global effort, directed by the United Nations, to defeat terrorism, comparing it to the fight against Nazism, adding Russia is ready to play its part.
By Ed Adamczyk