Today.Az » World news » Turkey may take contra measures against Russia’s tomato ban
10 August 2017 [17:07] - Today.Az
By Ali Mustafayev
Russia continues to keep a tough stance on the tomato import from Turkey, once exporting huge volumes of agriculture products to the country.
Although Russia allowed import of a significant number of agro products in early 2017, tomato market is still closed for Turkey.
Turkish Minister of the Economy Nihad Zeybekchi stated that his country will have to take contra measures, in case Russia doesn’t remove the current restrictions on the import of Turkish tomato.
“We are under a considerable pressure from the local exporters, because of the continued ban on the tomato and other vegetables’ import. We will take retaliatory measures to neutralize this pressure. It can’t go on like this,” said Zeybekchi, according to TASS.
The Turkish government is hopeful for effective dialogue during the negotiations scheduled for August 17-19 in Izmir. Ankara considers this meeting “very important for Turkey”, although Turkish officials don’t know exactly what to expect since different statements were made by the Russian ministers.
Russian Agriculture Minister Alexander Tkachev earlier announced that the country is not going to resume import of tomatoes from Turkey.
The ban on the tomato import is considered to be the most negative for Turkey since Russia was the largest market for the Turkish tomato export with annual profit amounting to billions of dollars.
In 2016 Russia imposed a number of economic sanctions on Turkey, including the suspension of visa-free travel to Russia for Turkish citizens, limits on Turkish residents and companies doing business in Russia and bans on import of Turkish products.
Russia dropped restrictions on Turkish citrus fruits in late 2016 and both nations signed a memorandum agreeing to lift the vast majority of the bilateral trade restrictions laid down in 2015. However, the Russian ban on Turkish tomato imports still remains in place.
Russia says that the reason lies in Russian agriculturists, who invested a large amount of money in the national agriculture during tensions between Russia and Turkey and who are still waiting for the profit.
The level of vegetable production in Russia increased by 30 percent from 2014 to 2017.