Turkey summoned the Russian ambassador Monday after images surfaced of a serviceman allegedly wielding a rocket launcher on the deck of a Russian naval ship as it passed through Istanbul over the weekend.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu described the incident as a “provocation” that “has to end,” reports German news service Deutsche Welle. Relations between Ankara and Moscow have deteriorated since Turkey downed a Russian warplane near the Turkey-Syria border on Nov. 24.
Moscow leveled economic sanctions against Ankara after the downing, which Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek said could cost Turkey’s economy up to $9 billion.
The Bosporus Strait is the only passage Russia’s Black Sea fleet can use to access the world’s oceans.