23:16 GMT +319 October 2019
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    October 10, 2016. Istanbul, Turkey. From left: Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a joint statement for the press after their meeting.

    Progress in Russian-Turkish Trade Relations 'Won't Be Quick and Easy'

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    Russian and Turkish authorities said they want to withdraw mutual restrictions on the supply of agricultural products and are planning to hold a series of consultations in the next two weeks to discuss further steps, the Russian government's website said.

    In an interview with Sputnik Turkey, experts and politicians discussed the prospects of bilateral economic cooperation between the countries.
    Turkish politician and MP of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Recai Berber believes that Russian-Turkish trade relations will rapidly improve in the near future.

    According to Beber, the current restrictions on mutual supplies of agricultural products could soon be lifted.

    "I believe that in the next few months we can expect positive progress on this issue. This corresponds to both Turkish and Russian interests. I think that now the parties are working to develop balanced guidelines, and as a result of the upcoming talks next month we will see positive changes in this direction," Berber said.

    Turkish economic expert Ozlem Derici, in turn, stated that the development of trade relations between the two countries has become difficult to predict. In his opinion, trade relations are directly connected with a fragile diplomatic balance between the states. He also added that so far there has been no significant progress on lifting economic restrictions on agricultural supplies between Turkey and Russia.

    "4-5 years ago, the volume of Turkish exports to Russia reached $7-7.5 billion. Now, these figures have dropped to $2 billion. Despite the steps that have been made, there has been no significant increase in trade volumes. I believe that the process of returning to the previous level of trade cooperation will take a longer time," Derici said.

    "The way out seems to lie in the progressive establishment of a political and diplomatic dialogue between the two countries, and this process is not quick and easy. Therefore, I wouldn't expect any significant changes in the relations between the countries in the short run, " the expert concluded.

    On Tuesday, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich and Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey Mehmet Shimshek held talks in Moscow to discuss prospects of mutual cooperation between the countries. The parties decided to hold "intensive consultations within the upcoming two weeks to determine the schedule for further actions."

    As of March 15, Turkey changed import regulations on certain agricultural products for processing in the country, including wheat and sunflower oil. Russia was not included in the list of countries that have the right to export such supplies duty-free.

    According to the Russian Agriculture Ministry, this decision by Ankara could lead to a cessation of the importation of Russian wheat, corn, beans and rice to Turkey and toward a reorientation of Russian exports to other markets.


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