Russia Ratchets Up Tension With Turkey in Aegean Sea Incident

Things aren’t going well.

The simmering tensions between Russia and Turkey grew hotter Sunday after a Russian military frigate leveled small arms fire against a Turkish fishing boat in the Aegean Sea. 

This is just the latest in a series of incidents that began with the November 24, 2015 downing of a Russian fighter jet by the Turkish military.  The BBC reported that Russia’s foreign ministry had summoned Turkey’s military attache in Moscow to discuss the incident. Reuters went into more detail:

The Russian Defence Ministry said one of its warships, the destroyer Smetlivy, had been forced to fire the warning shots on Sunday morning and that it had summoned the Turkish military attache over the incident.

“The Turkish military diplomat was given a tough explanation about the potentially disastrous consequences from Ankara’s reckless actions towards Russia’s military contingent fighting against international terrorism in Syria,” the Defence Ministry said in a statement.

The Russians termed the Aegean Sea encounter as another in a series of “Turkish provocations” and said that only “luck” prevented a true “tragedy.” 

Reuters indicated that Turkey’s foreign minister would issue a statement once more was known about the incident. On Friday the same minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, said his country’s patience with Moscow had limits, and accused the Russians punishing Turkey at every turn for the November incident at the Syrian border, reported the BBC.

Photos by Alexei Druzhinin / Sputnik / AP