Turkey, Russia sign deal to remove trade barriers
ISTANBULTurkey and Russia signed a declaration in Istanbul on May 22 to remove restrictions on bilateral trade that were imposed after a jet crisis in 2015, as news agencies have reported.
The document was signed by the deputy prime ministers of Russia and Turkey, Arkady Dvorkovich and Mehmet Şimşek respectively, on the sidelines of the 25th anniversary summit of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC).
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım and his Russian counterpart Dimitry Medvedev witnessed the signing of the declaration, which aims to normalize and develop economic ties, and enhance the bilateral trade volume between Russia and Turkey.
Moscow agreed to lift all sanctions imposed on imported items from Turkey except tomatoes on May 3, when the leaders of the two countries met in Sochi.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow’s embargo on the import of tomatoes from Turkey and its visa restrictions on Turkish nationals will remain in place for the time being.
Turkey was then reported to have resumed wheat imports from Russia on May 11, just a few days after the trade dispute between the two countries was settled.
The Nov. 24, 2015 shooting down of the Russian plane led to an unprecedented crisis in ties and prompted Russia to impose a raft of sanctions against Ankara.
These included an effective ban on Russian package holidays to Turkey, badly hitting the 2016 tourism season in Turkey’s south. That ban has since been lifted.
The initial ban on agricultural products included imports of tomatoes, oranges, apples, apricots, cabbages, salt, broccoli, mandarin oranges, cucumbers, pears, peaches, plums, strawberries, onions, carnations and poultry.
Thanks to the normalization of relations, the ban on oranges, mandarin oranges, apricots, peaches and plums was lifted on Oct. 9, 2016 by a government decision.