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MOSCOW, January 4. /TASS/. While imposing sanctions on Turkey, Russia did not go outside the framework of the general agreement of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), a source with the government's finance and economy bloc has told TASS.
"We, on our part, believe that Russia acts exclusively within the framework of the general agreement and its commitments," the source said. "All the decisions have been adopted knowingly after a relevant level of work, including on the WTO issues."
Earlier, Turkish Economy Minister Mustafa Elitas said that Turkey planned to file a complaint on the Russian economic sanctions with the WTO and international courts. He said that in Russian small towns the Turkish companies had been pressured to hand over their shares to Russian partners.
At the same time, the source told TASS that any country had the right to use the WTO tools.
"And Turkey has this right as a member of the organisation," he said.
Relations between Russia and Turkey have been locked in a spat over the downing of a Russian Su-24M bomber on November 24 by the Turkish Air Force’s fighter jet. Ankara claims the bomber violated the Turkish air space in the area of the border with Syria. However, Russia’s Defence Ministry has said the Su-24M plane stayed exclusively over the Syrian territory and "there was no violation of the Turkish air space."
Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that Turkey’s attack will have "serious consequences" for the two countries’ relations. Putin said Ankara’s attack against the Russian plane, which took part in Russia’s antiterrorism operation in Syria and did not present a threat to Turkey, was a "stab in Russia’s back" delivered by terrorists’ accomplices.
On November 28, Putin signed a decree on measures to ensure Russia’s national security and to protect its citizens from criminal and other illegal activities and to impose special economic measures against Turkey.
On January 1, 2016, the bulk of sanctions against Turkey came into effect. Russia imposed a ban on imports of fruits, vegetables, poultry, flowers and white salt from that country. In January-September 2015, Turkey’s imports of these goods to Russia constituted $579.7 million, or 18.9% of all Turkish exports to Russia.
Besides, some business activities and services of Turkish companies, employment of new staff from Turkey were either banned or restricted. At the same time, Russia introduced the visa rules.