Amid reports of an imminent war between Turkey and Russia, Turkey has summoned the Russian ambassador after a serviceman on the deck of a Russian naval ship allegedly held a rocket launcher while the vessel passed through Istanbul this weekend.
Turkey accuses Moscow of “provocations” after the serviceman was spotted holding a rocket launcher on his shoulder while the naval ship was passing through the territory of Turkey, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.
Relations between Ankara and Moscow have sharply escalated since the Turkish military last week shot down a Russia jet in its airspace.
Russia’s NTV news channel broadcasted a footage with a serviceman brandishing a rocket launcher on the deck of a naval ship Caesar Kunikov as it passed through the Bosphorus Strait in Istanbul on Saturday. The ship was allegedly en route to Syria.
“For a Russian soldier to display a rocket launcher or something similar while passing on a Russian warship is a provocation,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu? told reporters, according to The Sydney Morning Herald citing the Hurriyet news site. “If we perceive a threatening situation, we will give the necessary response.”
With the Bosphorus providing the only naval passage to the world’s oceans for the Russian Black Sea fleet, a post-war treaty obliges Turkey to allow all naval ships to pass the region during peacetime.
Ever since the Turkish military brought down the Russian warplane, the Kremlin has introduced economic sanctions, which will cost Turkey approximately nine billion dollars, according to AFP. NTV also said that as the Caesar Kunikov was passing through, three NATO frigates with Canadian, Spanish and Portuguese flags had been moored.
Tensions getting hot: Turkey summons Russian ambassador
As a response to the incident with the Russian serviceman allegedly holding a rocket launcher, Turkey has summoned the Russian ambassador. Turkey has formally expressed its outrage over the incident, with Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu calling it a “provocation.”
The incident with Turkey – a NATO member state – shooting down the Russian warplane has already been called the most alarming military encounter between NATO and Russia’s armed forces in over 50 years. It has already triggered quite an uproar in geopolitics with many analysts wondering if this is the beginning of a major military confrontation between Russia and NATO with the involvement of the U.S.
“The worse case being a conflict between the United States and fellow nuclear armed state, Russia,” according to Zachary Yost of The Canal.
With extremely high chances of the conflict between Ankara and Moscow spiraling into a war between NATO and Russia, U.S. experts are weighing in on whether the United States should or should not risk American soldiers’ lives to save Turkey. The benefits of the U.S. possibly withdrawing from NATO would be to “discourage irresponsible behavior from current U.S. allies,” Yost noted in his article.
“Without the vast armed might of the United States backing it up, it is unlikely that Turkey would have committed such a provocative act against Russia. Without the United States to ward off any retaliation, nations will think twice before engaging in risky confrontations,” the author wrote.
Despite the fact that Turkey is backed by NATO’s 5th Article, which states that an attack on one Ally shall be considered an attack on all NATO members, the chances that Russia is going to start a nuclear war against the Alliance are very “likely,” according to Pavel Felgengauer, Russia’s top military analyst, as reported by ValueWalk.
Russia warns NATO against reinforcing Turkish defences
As Turkey summoned the Russian ambassador, Russia’s envoy to NATO has warned the U.S.-led Alliance against reinforcing Ankara’s air defenses, according to Al Jazeera.
Alexander Grushko, Russia’s envoy to NATO, said on Monday that Moscow does not think that strengthening the forces would “strictly correspond to the task of neutralizing possible challenges from terrorist organizations.”
“If by the NATO efforts Turkey tries to contain Russia, this will be an obstacle to the establishment of an international coalition against terrorism,” Grushko said, as reported by ITAR-TASS news agency.
The comments come amid reports that NATO allies are discussing sending patrol aircraft and patriot missiles to Turkey, which currently hosts only Spanish missiles.
According to NATO’s foreign ministers, the Alliance is planning to send more ships from NATO members in the eastern Mediterranean, deploy more NATO warplanes to the Turkish base at Incirlik and have more missile defense batteries stationed in Turkey.
Russia is ready for nuclear war: deploys doomsday plane
Shooting down the Russian jet will cost Turkey’s economy nine billion dollars in the worst-case scenario of “zero relations,” according to Turkish Deputy Prime Minister.
“In the worst-case scenario, which is zero relations with Russia, we are talking about a loss of nine billion dollars,” Mehmet Simsek, the deputy prime minister in charge of the economy, said in an interview with private NTV television, as reported by AFP.
The current conflict is going to cut Turkey’s GDP by 0.3 to 0.4 percent, Simsek added.
Meanwhile, one of Russia’s leading politicians has recently outlined how easy it would be for Russia to destroy Turkey.
“You just chuck one nuclear bomb into the straits, and there’d be a huge flood. The water would rise by 10-15 meters and the whole city would disappear,” said Vladimir Zhirinovsky, leader of the Liberal Democratic party, as reported by ValueWalk citing the Daily Mail.
It was also reported by ValueWalk that Russia is actively preparing for a possible nuclear war against NATO by completing tests on a state-of-the-art flying command center – which has already been named a ‘doomsday plane’ by the Pentagon – capable of maintaining full control over Russia’s armed forces in case of a global disaster or nuclear war.