- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Kremlin on Wednesday published a list of new sanctions Moscow will levy against Turkish companies starting Jan. 1, an expansion of similar measures put in place last month after Turkey downed a Russian warplane it claimed violated their airspace on the Syrian border. 

The new sanctions bar Turkish companies from signing new contracts to construct buildings, work in architecture or design in Russia and also bans Turks from working in the travel and hotel businesses, state-funded news agency Russia Today reported

Turkish companies currently working on skyscrapers, soccer stadiums and other projects in Russia will be allowed to finish their contracts. 

“As you know, special economic measures with respect to the Republic of Turkey have been approved. The import of certain food products and agricultural produce has been banned,” Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said at a government meeting Wednesday, according to RT.

“Starting January 1, 2016, the visa-free regime for Turkish citizens holding ordinary passports will be suspended. Moreover, also starting next year, Russian employers will not be allowed to hire any more Turkish nationals,” Mr. Medvedev said. 

The list make exceptions for 53 Turkish companies currently working in Russia. These companies are engaged in various industries including construction, manufacturing, plumbing and flooring, and the auto industry, according to the Kremlin’s website. 

Companies not listed will no longer be permitted to hire Turkish citizens. 

In November Turkey shot down a Russian warplane claiming it had crossed into Turkish airspace from Syria. Russia denied the claim and said the pilot had not received any warnings from ground forces before being shot down. 

Turkish-Russian relations have continued to deteriorate since then. Shortly after the incident, Russian President Vladimir Putin canceled energy projects, banned fruit and vegetable imports from Turkey and threatened more retribution to come. 

Russia is the largest market for Turkish exports after Germany, with about $6 billion worth of goods in 2014, or 4 percent of all exports. And it was the biggest source of Turkish imports in 2014, with $25 billion or 10 percent of total goods, according to an analysis by Renaissance Capital, The New York Times reported.

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