Russia lifts ban on some agricultural imports from Turkey

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Russia has lifted restrictions on the import of various agricultural products from Turkey, according to an official statement Saturday.

In a written statement made by the Russian Human Health and Consumer Rights Protection Service (Rospotrebnadzor), it was reported that the restrictions on the import of various agricultural products from Turkey were lifted as a result of the evaluations made.

The products include peppers, pomegranates, grapes, oranges and grapefruit.

Russia in 2015 put some restrictions on agricultural exports from Turkey, including tomato exports.

These developments came after Turkey downed a Russian warplane that it said violated its airspace near the Syrian border.

Moscow lifted the tomato import ban in November 2017 as tensions between the two countries eased, particularly after the launch of the TurkStream pipeline carrying Russian gas to Turkey, but set limits.

Most recently in February, the Russian news agency Interfax said the country may increase the tomato import quota from Turkey, which is currently 300,000 tons, to 350,000 tons.

Russia’s Agriculture Ministry is preparing a new draft regarding the import of tomatoes from Turkey, the report said.

Turkey’s sector representatives have long been arguing that the quota should be lifted completely.

Turkey generated $363 million (TL 4.89 billion) in revenue from 623,000 tons of tomato exports in 2021. About half of the said exports were made to Russia.

Moscow initially increased the quota by 50,000 tons in February 2020 to 200,000 tons and then raised it to 250,000 tons in January last year. Russia’s Agriculture Ministry raised the quota by another 50,000 tons to 300,000 tons in April 2021.

Meanwhile, as a fallout from the Russia-Ukraine war, Turkey’s exports to Russia slid significantly in March.

Sales to Russia slipped nearly 40% year-over-year in March and 42.1% compared to the previous month to $252.4 million.

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