Putin issues decree to lift ban on tourism to Turkey

MOSCOW – The Kremlin says Russian President Vladimir Putin has issued a decree lifting restrictions on tourism to Turkey following its’ apology for downing a Russian warplane last year.

Russia had banned the sales of package tours and halted charter flights to Turkey, dealing a heavy blow to the country’s vital tourism industry. Moscow also banned most food imports from Turkey and introduced other restrictions.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sent the apology letter to Putin on Monday, the day before suicide bombers attacked the main airport in Istanbul. Putin called Erdogan on Wednesday to express his condolences for the airport attack and announced lifting the tourism ban.

Putin’s decree, released Thursday by the Kremlin, also orders the Russian Cabinet to hold economic talks with Turkey and revise other restrictions accordingly.