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Warmer US/Russian relations to lift ban?

After what can be described as tense relations over the last few years between America and Russia, relations seem to be warming, especially after a telephone conversation between Putin and Trump last Saturday.There had been speculation that there would be a discussion about the possibility of lifting the Russian ban, but sources on both side confirmed that this was not discussed this time.

“In the course of the conversation, both sides demonstrated a desire for active joint efforts to stabilize and develop Russia-American relations on a constructive, equitable and mutually beneficial basis,” the Kremlin said. “The importance was underlined of restoring mutually beneficial trade and economic ties between business on both sides.”

Russian contacts were reluctant to comment on the political situation, saying they they would only like to comment on products, not politics.

However, the big question is, would Russian and American fruit traders be able to pick up where they left off before the 2014 trade embargo? Russia has been building new trade ties with countries outside of the EU and US who are able to trade freely in the meantime.

"The sanctions were such an issue that we needed to move forward as an organisation and we now only focus on local products, so this ban is no longersuch an issue for us. The products that we are not able to produce ourselves are being imported from countries like Israel and Iran, who are not part of the embargo." shared a trader.

The push to become self-sufficient has brought a lot of new investments in the agriculture segment, especially for greenhouse production. It was announced last year that RusAgro, was planning on building four greenhouses, each one the size of 100 football fields, and has already given the go ahead for construction of the first two in Siberia and the Far East.

There has also been a lot of focus on increasing domestic apple production, one of the hardest hit fruits from the ban. Although it is possible that Russia could become self-sufficient growing their own apples, this is only something that could happen over the course of several years until the apple orchards grow to maturity.

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