Turkey resumes wheat imports from Russia after restoration of relations

15.05.2017

Turkey resumed taking Russian wheat exports on May 8, Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci told Reuters on May 11.

Moscow imposed a ban on agricultural product imports from Turkey after the downing of a Russian jet by the Turkish air force in November 2015. It then eased some of the restrictions after relations between the two countries started to improve last year, but bans on certain items remained in place.

In response to the continued restrictions, Turkey halted purchases from Russia of wheat, maize and sunflower seeds by removing Russian items from a duty-free import scheme on March 15.

Following a meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin earlier this month in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi after which the Russian leader hailed the return of "full-format" relations, Russia agreed to lift all sanctions imposed on imported items from Turkey except tomatoes.

At the end of the Sochi meeting, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich announced that Russia would resume grain exports to Turkey "within the next few days" after resolving issues, such as prohibitively high tariffs. Dvorkovich, however, also reportedly said that some Russian restrictions on tomato imports from Turkey would remain in place "in some form" for the next three to five years.


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