18:11 GMT09 August 2020
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    Turkish exporters decided to limit the percentage of Russian agricultural import in the whole import to 20 – 25 percent, Zekeriya Mete, head of Istanbul exporters association of grains, pulses and oil seeds told Sputnik on Wednesday.

    ANKARA (Sputnik) – On Tuesday, the Russian Vedomosti newspaper reported about Turkey’s new restrictions on import of grains from Russia, specifying that, according to its data, Russia’s share in supplying Turkey with grain should be some 20-25 percent of the entire grain import. The newspaper stressed that the Turkish side has provided no official information on the matter to date.

    "We shred the quotas among countries. We want to make us safe – if there are some problems in relations with a country, we will not lose everything. The decision to limit the import of Russian agricultural products to 20 – 25 percent was made by our organization, not the Economy Ministry. We are making decision while the Economy Ministry accepts or does not accept them," Mete said.

    He pointed out that the decision had already been made but it could be changed if case of changing circumstances.

    On Monday, Russian and Turkish prime ministers, Arkady Dvorkovich and Mehmet Simsek signed a joint statement on mutually lifting the remaining trade restrictions, however, the restrictions related to the Turkish tomatoes will remain in force, according to Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

    The Russian-Turkish trade has been facing significant difficulties since 2016 when Russia introduced a food embargo against Turkey in response to the 2015 downing of a Russian aircraft over Syria. In March, Russia’s National Association of Exporters of Agricultural Products (NAEAP) said that the Turkish authorities had suspended issuance of import licenses for Russian grain cultures and vegetable oil on March 15.

    In May, Russian President Vladimir Putin met with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Sochi, with the two leaders agreeing to further ease mutual restrictive measures. Russia, however, insisted on keeping restrictions on Turkish tomato imports as well as postponing the reintroduction of a visa-free regime for Turkish nationals.


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