Turkey remains Russia's top rival; Moscow remains hopeful

By @preciousvsilva on
Putin attending news conference in Moscow
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends his annual end-of-year news conference in Moscow, Russia, December 17, 2015. Reuters/Sergei Karpukhin

Tensions between Russia and Turkey run high as a new report highlights Moscow media referring to Ankara as its top enemy. Despite the strained relationship between the two, Russia remains hopeful that trading relations with Turkey will not go down the drain.

According to a new research from RBC, Turkey has surpassed the United States and Ukraine as Russian media's top enemy. In fact, Ankara has even topped extremist group the Islamic State (ISIS). Turkey's rise to fame started when it shot down Russia's Su-24 jet near the Syrian border. The country claimed that Russia violated airspace but the latter denied the allegations. Russia also went out publicly before accusing Turkey that it planned the shooting down of the plane due to its detailed knowledge of its sorties tracing back to Syria.

RBC's research was released on Tuesday. Medialogia did the analysis, monitoring the frequency in which the Russian media referred to countries as "enemy" or a type of adversary to Russia. Ukraine held the top spot for nine months. The Russian media referred to the country in a negative light while the United States came in a close second.

Despite the Russian media referring to Ankara as the top enemy, Moscow still believes in the role of Turkey as an important trading partner. Russian Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said that the government is working on fixing the problem to minimise the impact on Russian and Turkish businesses, according to Reuters

"Turkey remains our large trading partner. Our embargo is selective, very selective, concerning food and only certain (items)," said Ulyukayev. 

"They are designed in a way so that existing contracts won't be violated. Here we are for the time being very cautious. We don't want to create problems for Turkish business, and even less for our own business and citizens," the minister added. Russia previously imposed sanctions on Turkish imports as a result of the tensions.