Tomato boycott remains in effect

Turkey and Russia lift (nearly) all sanctions

Following the lifting of the sanctions between Russia and Turkey, the Russian phytosanitary service is taking the first steps to get the trade started again. This month the service will travel to Turkey to inspect companies. It concerns cultivation companies that grow peppers, lettuce, pumpkins and courgettes. The goal is to judge the companies and to check whether they meet the conditions.

Turkish president Erdoğan called on his Russian colleague to also lift the final sanctions. President Putin says the sanctions won’t be in effect forever, but that time is needed to lift them. On Wednesday, the two presidents met and talked about the sanctions and other topics.

Source: Kremlin

“If we want to achieve trade sales of 100 billion dollar, we’ll immediately have to lift all sanctions,” the Turkish president said before he left for Russia. “We want this to happen, and together with president Putin we’ll make an effort to take care of existing matters and to mend our relationship.”

During the press conference after the meeting, the presidents said that they will make an effort to lift the sanctions, but for tomatoes it can take three to five years before Russia will open its borders again. “We agreed to lift all restrictions, but we’ve asked our Turkish partners and friends for understanding the fact that after well-known events, which led to the sanctions, life has moved on,” president Putin said during the press conference.

According to the Russian president, Russian companies will lose a lot of money if the borders are immediately opened to the tomatoes. “Our growers have taken out considerable loans. Tomatoes have a relatively long production process, and due to our climate, greenhouses have to be built, among other things. For these products, the restrictions will remain in place,” Putin said.

According to Turkish traders the first onions from the province of Adana have been exported to Russia. The resumption of the export gives the Turkish growers hope again, says the head of the district. The Russian phytosanitary service will talk to the Turkish citrus sector. In October last year the boycott of fruit was lifted. Since then 12 parties have been intercepted which did not meet the phytosanitary demands. The conversations between Russian and Turkish delegates are planned for June.

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