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Moscow, Ankara still discuss lifting food import ban

Staff Writer |
Moscow and Ankara are still in contact on lifting Russia’s ban on imports of Turkish food, and Turkey expects trade turnover to reach $100 billion in future, Turkey’s ambassador Umit Yardim said.

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“Contacts in this direction are going on. Last week, Turkey’s prime minister visited Russia alongside the economy minister. These issues were discussed as well. The deputy minister whose competence covers these issues was also part of the delegation,” he said.

He added that the work to lift the ban is going on and he hopes that the countries will achieve a positive decision.

He also said that the Russia–Turkey trade turnover amounted to only $8 billion in January–June compared with $11 billion in 2015.

“We have long-term trade plans, and our goal is to reach $100 billion…Yes, we should take into account certain difficulties, but I assume that we will be able to reach the figure of $20 billion this year,” he said.

Russia banned imports of some fruit and vegetables from Turkey from January 1, which was widely viewed as part of retaliatory measures after Ankara had downed a Su-24 jet in November 2015.

Later, the service temporarily banned imports of some more types of fruit and vegetables as they were infested with quarantine organisms.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in St. Petersburg.

Yury Ushakov, aide to President Vladimir Putin, said previously that the two presidents will discuss economic issues and joint projects, like construction of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant and the Turkish Stream natural gas pipeline, and also consider restart of exports of Turkish fruit and vegetables to Russia and restoration of Russia’s charter flights to Turkey.

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