Russia to strengthen control over food supplies from Turkey
DHA PhotoRussia will strengthen control over food supplies from Turkey and will perform additional border and production checks, the press service of the Ministry of Agriculture said on Nov. 26, as reported by Russian TASS news agency.
“The Russian government authorized Rosselkhoznadzor [federal agricultural supervision agency] to strengthen control over agricultural products and foods supplies from Turkey and organize additional checks on the border and at production sites in Turkey,” the press service said, as quoted by TASS.
Measures are introduced in view of repeated violations of Russian standards by Turkish producers, it added.
“About 15 percent of Turkish agricultural products on averae do not meet Russian standards,” Minister of Agriculture Alexander Tkachev said, according to the report.
Russia has found “traces of banned and harmful substances” in Turkish food products of animal origin some 40 times this year, Tkachev added.
According to the Russian Ministry of Agriculture, Russia imported foods and agricultural products from Turkey in the amount of $1.7 bln in 2014. At the same time, Russian export of foods and agricultural products to Turkey rose by a third in 2014 and totaled $2.4 bln.
Turkish vegetables account for some 20 percent of vegetables imports to Russia, said Tkachev, adding that Moscow could opt to buy produce from other countries, such as tomatoes from Iran, Israel, Morocco, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan.
Turkey also accounts for a quarter of Russian citrus fruit imports, he said, adding that the country could switch to other producers including South Africa, China, Argentina and Georgia.
Russia also said it could redirect its Turkish exports including wheat and oil to countries in the Middle East and Africa.
Russian officials said that Russia may consider cancelling some important joint projects with Turkey and decreasing trade ties with the country after the downing of the Russian jet by Turkish F-16s near the Syrian border on Nov. 24, raising questions about the future of the countries’ intimate economic and trade relations.