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Russia announces partial lifting of Turkish fruit ban

Full food reconciliation between Turkey and Russia took one step closer towards reality on Tuesday October 11 2016 when Moscow announced its decision to resume imports of certain fruits from Turkey. 

Turkish oranges, tangerines, apricots, plums and peaches are now exempt from Russia’s ongoing food embargo. 
“This is a mutually beneficial solution,” said President Putin, regarding the ban’s partial lifting. “Russian agriculture does not produce such products. The arrival of these Turkish products on the Russian market will expectedly slash prices in Russia.”

The decision was made during Monday 10 October 2016’s meeting between Presidents Putin and Erdoğan during a recess at the World Energy Conference in Istanbul. 

Apples, grapes, strawberries and pears, as well as vegetables and poultry, are still banned for export to Russia. Russia’s government has stressed repeatedly that any further waiving of import bans will be a gradual process. 

Russia Today reports that inspectors from Rosselkhoznadzor, Russia’s food health and safety organisation, will be travelling to Turkey during the week commencing 17 October 2016. 

The inspectors will be visiting various Turkish food companies to examine their production facilities, and produce, to ensure they meet Russian standards. Rosselkhoznadzor spokesman Aleksey Alekseenko told Russia Today that the decision to resume Turkish vegetable imports will be decided after the inspection.

Normalisation of relations between Turkey and Russia has been an ongoing process since a Turkish jet fighter shot down a Russian plane over Syria in November 2015. President Erdoğan apologised for the incident in August 2016, spurring on reconciliation efforts.

This partial lifting of Russia’s embargo on Turkish produce will be welcome to news for both countries. For Turkey, it means re-access to one of its largest export markets. Russians, on the other hand, will enjoy a drop in price and a perceived increase in quality of some in-demand fruit varieties.

Since Turkish produce was banned at the tail end of 2015, Russians reportedly noticed a drop in the quality of fruits and vegetables available in stores. Russia has had to look further afield to countries such as Morocco, Egypt and Israel to supply its consumers with agriproducts.

Source: RT.com


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