Turkey objects to Russia’s import quota on tomatoes

Turkey objects to Russia’s import quota on tomatoes

ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
Turkey objects to Russia’s import quota on tomatoes

Ankara is “absolutely” against Russia’s limit on number of companies importing Turkish tomatoes, according to Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci.

“We are absolutely against the limit on number of companies. If needed, we can do the same. We will import by choosing a company,” Zeybekci told Anadolu Agency on March 19.

In October 2017, Russia signed a decree lifting its restrictions on the import of tomatoes from Turkey beginning Nov. 1, 2017. However, Moscow implemented an import quota.

“Amendments to the list of agricultural produce, raw materials and food products originating from the Republic of Turkey, the import of which has been banned since Jan. 1, 2016, stipulate that the term ‘fresh or chilled tomatoes’ be amended with a footnote saying that the produce imported within the import quota approved by the Agriculture Ministry shall be excluded from the ban,” the Russian government said in a statement.

Zeybekci said Turkey cannot accept Moscow’s selection, accreditation or certification of Turkish companies for exporting tomatoes to Russia.

He said Ankara now records all Turkey’s imports from Russia.

“There is only one reason for this [recording]. If needed, we will do the same. We can also select a company and import [from Russia],” Zeybekci said.

He also said visa procedures on Turkish companies take time and are added in the upcoming days, Ankara will take steps to ease the long visa process.

After Turkey shot down a Russian military jet over an airspace violation in November 2015, Moscow took several measures against Ankara, including banning imports of Turkish agricultural products and ending visa-free travel for Turks.

“We have insightfully and patiently waited for the removal of bans that were imposed after the unfortunate event in November 2015,” Zeybekci said.

Russia, tomatoes, import quota