Economic Contest

It’s not yet an economic war. Russia is beginning the contest with Turkey after that nation was so impertinent as to shoot down a Russian fighter-bomber that was the latest Russian aircraft to violate Turkish airspace, this time refusing to leave despite multiple requests and warnings.

…Moscow took aim at Turkey’s economy, ordering tougher checks on its food imports.

This isn’t a contest that Russia can win, though. The Turkish economy is in sounder shape than Russia’s, and Turkey isn’t particularly dependent on exports to Russia. Russia, though, already has banned food imports from the rest of Europe over the latter’s sanctions that responded to Russia’s invasion and occupation of significant parts of Ukraine. This latest move, delicate though it is, simply makes Russia more dependent on domestic food production.

To be sure, this isn’t all the posturing Russian President Vladimir Putin is doing. He’s also shipped a number of near state-of-the-art S-400s, long-range anti-aircraft missiles, to his base in Syria, and he’s moved his guided missile cruiser, Moskva, which also is equipped with SAMs, closer to Syria. Both deployments put Turkish aircraft operating over a significant portion of Turkey in Putin’s gunsights.

This is a contest that Russia needn’t be allowed to win, either. If Putin continues to violate other nations’ airspace in his efforts to prop up his client Bashar al-Assad, those two isolated deployments can become targets themselves.

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