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Turkish minister threatens measures in tomato boycott

Turkey may have to take measures against Russia's restriction on the trade between the countries, said the Minister of Economic Affairs Nihat Zeybecki in an interview. Russia hinted earlier this month that they didn't want to end the boycott on Turkish tomatoes yet. A few other vegetables are also still being boycotted.



The relationship between the countries has recovered in recent months, but there were still a few issues. The tomato grew to be a symbol of this conflict. Opposing reports came from both countries. During a meeting for businesses the minister spoke of his displeasure: "We agreed to ease the visa demands. Although Russia is allowing Turkish transporters again and they can bring their trucks into the country, the high visa costs make it difficult to profit from this."

Besides this, the minister said there is pressure from the tomato exporters to take steps. This is why he is weighing up counter measures. The minister emphasised, however, that the country wants to take positive steps with Russia. "This is why I believe the negotiations in Izmir on 17, 18 and 19 August will be important. We have no expectations about tomatoes due to the big differences in the view points between the ministries. We don't want to hear the word 'boycott' in relation to tomatoes or other products such as meat and dairy."

Russia is reluctant to lift sanctions on the tomato trade due to the large investments that have now been made in the domestic cultivation. Turkey's proposal to open the borders when the Russian season is over, will be on the table in Izmir next week.


Publication date: 8/11/2017


 


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