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Russia Is Strangling Turkey: Country Could Soon Run Out of Gas



FILE – In this Thursday, June 17, 2010 file photo, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin walks after inspecting a new Russian fighter jet after its test flight in Zhukovksy, outside Moscow, Russia. Putin, who is running to reclaim presidency in March 4 election, laid out his vision of military modernization in an article published Monday, Feb. 20, 2012 in the government daily Rossiyskaya Gazeta. (AP Photo/RIA Novosti, Alexei Druzhinin, Government Press Service, File)

Shortly after a Turkish jet shot down a Russian bomber last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed revenge. Although some people worried he might do so militarily, Putin thus far has chosen a different path, focusing on hurting Turkey’s economy. He’s done that by, among other things, boycotting fruit and vegetable imports. For Turkey, that is a major problem. The numbers speak for themselves:

This isn’t  just a case of no more Turkish pistachio nuts or dates. Turkish fruits and vegetables account for 20 percent of Russia’s total fruit and vegetable consumption. This is a huge loss for the Turkish economy.  A $4 billion annual loss in fruit and vegetable revenue. Russia has said they will easily make up the loss by importing more from Iran and Israel.

Before President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s AK Party came to power in 2003, Turkey might have quickly found other export markets for its produce. But over the past few years, Turkey’s relationships with most of its neighbors have deteriorated dramatically. As a result, it’s difficult for Turkey to find new business partners. As long as Russia bought Turkish products, Ankara had nothing to worry about. That has changed now.

Russia has also cancelled its holiday packages to Turkey. In last year alone, 3.3 million Russians vacationed in Turkey. That’s


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