How Will Moscow Respond to Its “Stab in the Back”?
November 24, 2015
Russia has lost a Su-24 over Syria in a major international incident, and the immediate response has been incredulity and sabre-rattling. “There will be serious consequences,” warned an almost crestfallen Russia President Vladimir Putin in the immediate aftermath of the incident. But what will these consequences be? Direct military confrontation is off the table, as Russia is already grappling with several conflicts along its periphery and the economic sting of low energy prices and Western sanctions. Turkey is also a NATO member, raising the spectre of Article 5 being invoked should the Turkish and Russian militaries clash head-on.
Yet this doesn’t mean that Russia is without options. There are two avenues through which the Putin government can seek to punish Ankara: the economic and the covert.