Russia,Turkey to discuss bi-lateral sanctions on agricultural products

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Russia,Turkey to discuss bi-lateral sanctions on agricultural products

Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci said a meeting will be held on 3rd week of April regarding the restrictions Russia has imposed on Turkish agricultural products.

Evaluating the issues on the agenda to Turkish state media, Zeybekci stated that after the positive developments between Turkey and Russia began in the summer of 2016, there is a strong will to go back to the pre-November 2015 period. He added that talks had been held on lifting the bans but the desired result could not be achieved. Noting that next week there will be a meeting with the Russians, Zeybekci said regardless of the time and place, the two sides will meet to discuss the issue.

“Neither Turkey nor Russia will win with bans, but both countries will lose. One loses a little, one loses a lot. Both countries win in an environment without bans,” Zeybekci added.

Nihat Zeybekci said the ban on a $450-$500 million portion of the exports of fresh fruit and vegetables (standing at around $750 million in total) continued, and that $1.8 billion worth of agricultural products were imported from Russia within the scope of the Inward Processing Authorization Certificate.

Recalling that they had explained the intense pressure on exporters in Turkey when President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan paid an official visit to Russia on the invitation of his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on March 10, Zeybekci noted that he warned Russia about the complaints of exporters regarding the import permission granted to Russia and their suggestion to import the products from other countries. Zeybekci said the imports of agricultural products worth $1.8 billion from Russia could suddenly decline, and a $1.5 billion portion could be lost.

Last week, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich stated that bilateral restrictions on trade with Turkey are harmful to all parties, stressing that it is best to step forward and lift restrictions mutually to prevent losses.

Speaking to reporters in the Russian capital Moscow, Dvorkovich noted that the restrictions imposed between Russia and Turkey are harmful to all parties, pointing out that constructive steps should be taken on bilateral trade.

In a previous statement, Dvorkovich said that talks between Turkey and Russian on cereal crops are likely to be held in Russia after April 16.

While it is claimed that a regulation has been issued that includes tax hikes of 130 percent on wheat and corn and 45 percent, 36 percent, 13.5 percent and 9.7 percent on rice, sunflower oil, sunflower pulp and pulses respectively that Turkey imports from Russia, a Russian ban on poultry (chicken and turkey), tomatoes, cucumbers, pickles, grapes, apples, pears and strawberries is still in force.

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