Russia vows to ban agriculture, fruit, vegetable imports from Turkey

Russia vows to ban agriculture, fruit, vegetable imports from Turkey

Russia vows to ban agriculture, fruit, vegetable imports from Turkey

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Russia will ban imports of agricultural products, vegetables and fruits from Turkey and may expand its sanctions further if deemed necessary, senior officials said at a government meeting on Nov. 30, as quoted by Reuters. 

Moscow may delay the introduction of the food import restrictions for several weeks to ease inflationary pressure, said Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich. 

First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov also said Russia would for the moment refrain from banning the imports of Turkish industrial goods.   

Russian President Vladimir Putin approved a document Nov. 28 slapping sharp economic sanctions on Turkey that include banning the employment of Turks in the country, following Ankara’s downing of a Russian jet on the border with Syria on Nov. 24, according to the Kremlin press service.

The Kremlin has released the text of a decree announcing an end to charter flights between the two countries, a ban on Russian businesses hiring any new Turkish nationals, and import restrictions on certain Turkish goods.  

It also asked Russian tour operators to refrain from selling trips to Turkey, normally a top holiday destination for Russian tourists.

The visa-free regime between the countries will also be partially suspended. However, “the measure does not concern Turkish nationals who have a temporary or permanent resident permits, as well as Turkish staff of diplomatic or consular missions in Russia and their families,” the Sputnik news agency reported. 

In addition, the activities of Turkish organizations in Russia will also be restricted, the Kremlin stated. 

The negative effect of these sanctions may amount to around $5 billion, according to analysts and economists. 

“We could see an increase of around $5-10 billion in Turkey’s current account gap next year due to losses in exports, tourism revenue and the suitcase trade with Russia. The point is whether Turkish companies can diversify their markets. If they can, the negative effect will be slower,” said Finansbank economist Deniz Çiçek, as quoted by Reuters. 

Analysts expect losses especially in tourism and export revenues. 

“Turkey’s current account gap may hit $40 billion in 2016 if the crisis with Russia continues. It is very difficult to calculate what the Russian crisis will cost for Turkish companies that have operations in the country, but these costs will be high,” said Garanti Investment’s chief economist Gizem Öztok Altınsaç, as quoted by Reuters.  

According to data from the Turkish Statistics Agency (TÜİK), Turkey obtained $34.3 billion in tourism revenue in 2014. The figure was at around $25 billion in the first nine months of this year. 

In the Turkish government’s medium-term economic program, the current account deficit has been estimated at $36.7 billion for this year and $34 billion for 2016.