MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russia's food embargo on Turkey eased further on Thursday in the run up to Friday's high-level cooperation meeting. The government exempted fresh and refrigerated onion and shallot, fresh and refrigerated broccoli and cauliflower along with several other products.
"We have stated our desire for the lifting of all restrictions on our exports. We are still not at the stage that we would like to be at in this issue. So we focused on the issue of vegetable and fruit exports during the talks. Out main aim is to reach the figures seen before [the restrictions]," Erdogan said, as quoted by the Izvestia newspaper, commenting on this week's Russia-Turkey High-Level Cooperation Council (HLCC).
The previous HLCC meeting took place in December 2014, but was followed by a deterioration of relations after the November 2015 downing of a military Russian aircraft by the Turkish Air Force over Syria. In June, tensions began to thaw since the Turkish president apologized in a letter to the Russian president for the incident and offered his condolences to the family of the killed Russian pilot.
On January 1, 2016, Moscow imposed a number of restrictive measures, including a ban on food and flower imports, on Ankara in response to the incident. In October 2016, the Russian embargo on Turkish fresh and dried fruits was lifted, but the imports of tomatoes, apples, strawberries, zucchinis, pumpkins and most poultry products are still banned.