Turkey and Russia sign agreement lifting sanctions

Russia won’t change its mind about Turkish tomatoes

Last week, Turkey and Russia signed an agreement which sets out steps to lift the sanctions between the countries. It’s still unclear which specific sanctions it concerns.

Russian premier Dmitry Medvedev and Turkish premier Binali Yildirim. Source: Russian Government

The Turkish premier said the “necessary steps can be made by keeping in mind seasonal demand.” The boycott of grapes, apples, pears, strawberries and cucumbers could be lifted within a week, according to reports. For bell pepper, aubergine, lettuce and pumpkins, negotiations will be resumed, said the Turkish premier.

The agreement appears to relate mainly to the other sectors for which sanctions were imposed, such as tourism and technology. The decision is effective immediately, according to the Russian premier during a press conference. “We have reached an agreement with Turkey. Mutual steps will be made, because some restrictions were imposed by Turkey.”

The Russian and Turkish vice premiers sign the agreement under the watchful gazes of the premiers of both countries. Source: Russian Government

When asked whether the decision will also relate to tomatoes, the premier answered in the negative. “For commodities it mostly concerns fruit and vegetables, except tomatoes, because we maintain our viewpoint about the investments made in the sector, and of which we think they shouldn’t have been wasted.” With those words, the Russian doors appear to remain closed to Turkish tomatoes for now, despite reports last week that the borders might open during the winter months.

Russian premier Dmitry Medvedev and Turkish premier Binali Yildirim talked to each other about the agreement. The vice premiers actually signed it. The official text of the agreement hasn’t been published yet.

Iraq boycotts Turkish tomatoes 
To protect the domestic tomato cultivation, the Iraqi government decided to close its borders to Turkish tomatoes. According to reports, the boycott came into effect on 20 May. Products in the provinces of Najaf and Karbala should be able to meet tomato demand in Iraq this year.

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