Russian destroyer fired warning shots against Turkish boat

A Russian destroyer fired warning shots against a Turkish fishing boat, in northern Aegean sea, causing further friction between Russia and Turkey.

A Russian defence ministry statement said the Turkish vessel approached to 600m (1,800ft) before turning away in response to Russian small arms fire.

The captain of the Turkish boat said he was unaware that his vessel had been shot at. “We were not aware that they had fired shots at us,” Muzaffer Gecici said. “We have video footage and we have handed this to the coastguard. We didn’t even know it was a Russian ship.”

The Turkish military attache in Moscow has been summoned to the foreign ministry over the incident.
Relations remain tense between the two countries since Turkey’s shooting down of a Russian warplane.

“We are not in favour of tension,” Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu was quoted as saying after the incident. “We have always been in favour of overcoming tensions through dialogue rather than conflict.”

Timeline: Russia-Turkey tensions

  • 24 November – A Turkish F-16 fighter jet shoots down a Russian Su-24 attack aircraft, allegedly because it violated Turkish airspace. Russia denies the claim and insists the aircraft was in Syrian airspace. A Russian pilot is killed parachuting from the jet, and a Russian marine is killed in a subsequent mission that rescues the other pilot.
  • 28 November – With Turkey refusing to apologise over the incident, Russia announces a package of economic sanctions against Turkey, including restrictions on imports and travel.
  • 6 December – Turkey condemns Russian “provocation” after Turkish media publish an image showing a Russian serviceman holding a rocket launcher aboard a warship passing through the Bosphorus.
  • 13 December – A Russian warship fires “warning shots” at a Turkish fishing vessel that it says was approaching it in the Aegean Sea.