Russia not ready to lift all agriculture restrictions on Turkey

Russia is not ready to lift all restrictions against Turkey in the agriculture sector, Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich has said. "We are not ready to remove restrictions in full, since we want to protect the interests of Russian farmers amid sanctions," he said, adding that this is partly a coercive measure.

Dvorkovich had a meeting with Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos last Thursday, to discuss the progress of the Akkuyu NPP (nuclear power plant) project and the issue of tomato supplies.

Russia may allow tomato imports from five additional firms from Turkey. The final decision on this is likely to be made next week. Only three Turkish producers are currently allowed to supply tomatoes to Russia.

Tass news agency lists how Russia banned imports of bell pepper, pomegranates, aubergines, lettuce, Iceberg lettuce, marrows and pumpkins from Turkey due to phytosanitary considerations in the spring of 2016.

Prior to that Russia restricted imports of oranges, tangerines, grapes, apples, pears, apricots, peaches and nectarines, plums, wild strawberries, strawberries, tomatoes, cucumbers, cauliflower, broccoli, yellow onions, as well as frozen turkey and chicken from Turkey starting January 1, according to the government decree on implementation of presidential decree on special economic measures against Turkey.

On May 3 2017, presidents of Russia and Turkey, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, agreed to cancel a range of restrictive measures on almost all positions, excluding tomatoes.

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