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Is Russia opening border for Turkish tomatoes?

According to Turkish media, the meeting between Russia and Turkey on 14 September will result in a temporary opening of the Russian border for Turkish tomatoes. The expectation is that Turkey will receive permission to export between 100,000 and 300,000 tonnes of tomatoes between October and May.

Before 2015, Turkey exported 338,000 tonnes to Russia. The tomatoes have become symbolic of the Russian boycott for Turkish fresh produce. Russia made no haste to lift the sanctions, because the country wants to protect its domestic growers. In August, after negotiations, it was concluded that the subject would be negotiated until a settlement was reached this month. The Russian phytosanitary service (Rosselkhoznadzor) has already conducted several inspections of various Turkish tomato companies. Whether the border will actually open remains to be seen. In recent months the Turkish and Russian media contradicted each other with some regularity.

Afghanistan is hoping to increasing export to Russia in the near future. The country hopes to market 70 tonnes per day in Moscow. In August, the Afghan government announced it wants to support exporters in this, but that more direct train connections are necessary. “We hope our friends in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan join us and help set up a corridor to market products to Moscow,” according to the representative of the Chamber of Commerce.

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