By Emre G├╝rkan Abay
Russia briefing, April 17

Turkish Referendum features in Russian media 

Similar the rest of the world, Russia’s media widely covered Turkey’s historical referendum on Sunday.

Many of the leading Russian media outlets sent their reporters to Turkey to cover the developments live for Russian viewers, while the event was widely commented on among Russian social media users.

One of Russia’s leading newspapers, Izvestiya, announced the results with the headline “Erdogan’s historical revolution”, while another significant Russian daily, Rossiskaya Gazeta, convened the results to its readers with the headline “Turkey became a country of the presidential system.

Russian experts mainly focused on the process of making the death penalty available in Turkey again. As Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan voiced his will to legalize the death penalty many times, Russia is also looking at this development very closely.

The reintroduction of the death penalty would mean a further distancing between the European Union and the U.S. from Turkey, which could be interpreted as goods new for Russia.

As none of Russia’s political figures have made any comments yet on the referendum results, it is likely that the country will follow a “wait and see” policy towards this important development.


High-level meeting on economy

The visit of Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek and Minister of Economy Nihat Zeybekci to Russia next week was announced. The visit will include talks on the recent tension on trade between the two countries.

Russia has still not made a decision to lift sanctions on Turkey’s most exported agricultural products, and as a consequence, it was announced that Turkey removed the duty-free regime on Russian wheat and sunflower oil products.

It is clear that both countries’ economies have been negatively impacted by the sanctions and the tension, and it is greatly hoped that this week’s visit will pave the way for amends and the removal of all economic sanctions.

17 Apr,2017