President Putin:

"Russian response more than boycotting tomatoes"

The political tensions between Turkey and Russia are running high. Last week president Putin hinted that a boycott will not be the only measure the country will take. Last weekend a Russian navy ship fired warning shots at a Turkish fishing boot. At Russian customer, multiple parties of mandarins and tomatoes were once again sent back to Turkey. According to the Russians the fruit was contaminated. 



High tension
"Allah must have punished the Turkish government clique by taking away their intelligence and reason," says Putin. "If they think they can get away with just an embargo on their tomatoes and some limits on building projects and other sectors after a war crime, the murder of our people, they are mistaken." Russia recently published evidence that Turkey is involved in ISIS' oil trade. The Kremlin also disapproves of the presence of Turkish troops in Northern Iraq. Russia sees this as an invasion of North Iraq. Turkey in turn claims to have evidence that Russia is involved in the oil trade with ISIS. The oil is an important financial source for ISIS.

Last weekend on the Aegean Sea between Greece and Turkey, a Russian navy vessel fired warning shots. The Turkish fishing boat was supposedly on a collision course with the Russian ship and didn't change course until the last minute.

Between 14 and 18 December Russia will be carrying out a patrol flight about Turkey. The Russians are using the Open Skies Treaty for this, a treaty from the start of the 90s that came into force in 2002 and is intended to improve the transparency between countries. The goal is to be able to monitor compliance with treaties. Russia, Canada, the US and a number of European countries signed this treat. There are also a number of Turkish observers present on the Russian observation craft, who will keep and eye out.

Spanish growers happy with Turkish lemons' exemption
The fact that the Russian boycott doesn't include Turkish lemons is good for Spain, Spanish growers believe. There were previously worries that a boycott of all the Turkish citrus would flood the European market.

Pressure on Ukrainian market due to Turkey boycott
Traders in the Ukraine say that the boycott of Turkish products is increasing the pressure on prices in the Eastern European country. The Turkish products have to compete with mandarins and pomegranates from Georgia and Azerbaijan, among others. The Ukraine, Russian and Poland are important markets for the Turkish exporters. 

Turkish tomatoes and citrus stopped
19 tonnes of tomatoes were stopped on the border between Latvia and Russia. According to the inspection the party was contaminated with the Western Flower Thrips, a fly that can affect multiple crops. Further to the south, in the port of Kavkaz, Krasnodar, the inspection stopped a party of almost 50 tonnes of mandarins. According to the inspection, living larvae were found in the citrus. Another ship with 20 tonnes of mandarins was sent back for the same reason.

Moldova and Uzbekistan profit from boycott
According to Russian journalists of Gazeta.ru, Moldova and Uzbekistan are profiting most from the boycott. The Turkish products are gradually disappearing from the supermarkets and are being replaced by grapes from Moldova or Uzbekistan, for instance. According to the journalist around half of the tomatoes and a third of the oranges are of Turkish origin. Mandarins and grapes from Turkey are allegedly no longer available. There are grapes available from Peru for 250 rouble (3.28 Euro) per kilo, Morocco for 280 rouble (3.68 Euro) per kilo. Moldovan grapes have an advantage here. They costs 200 rouble (2.63 Euro) per kilo.

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