Turkish tomatoes not a political issue: Ambassador to Russia
MOSCOW - Anadolu Agency
The dispute on tomato imports from Turkey to Russia is not a “political issue” between the countries and it can be solved soon, Turkey’s ambassador to Russia said on Oct. 6.
“Relations between Russia and Turkey in energy, tourism, and construction are strong. Most of the important bans on agriculture [imports] have been lifted already,” Hüseyin Dirioz told state-run Anadolu Agency.
“The investments Russia has made to grow its own tomatoes doesn’t mean that they won’t import tomatoes. I think they will buy from Turkey again. The market conditions will gradually be opened up,” Dirioz added.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said on Oct. 4 that the country’s Agriculture Ministry has proposed allowing Turkey to export up to 50,000 tons of its tomatoes to Moscow on an annual basis.
In June, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree lifting the ban on some Turkish agricultural imports as well as companies involved in construction, engineering, and tourism, ending restrictions that followed Ankara’s downing of a Russian fighter jet in 2015.
Following the end of those sanctions, Dvorkovich said only two restrictions - visa-free travel for Turkish citizens and tomatoes - remain for Ankara.
Dirioz’s remarks came on the sidelines of the Russian Energy Week forum in Moscow, which runs from Oct. 3 to 7 with the theme “energy for global growth.”