Russia to tighten controls on food imports from Turkey

Moscow announces that new controls will be enforced on food imports from Turkey amid rise in tensions over downing of Russian warplane on Turkey-Syria border

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

A young vendor at a fruit stall seen taking his lunch break in the central market in Kazan, Russia.

Russia’s Ministry of Agriculture released a statement on Thursday stating that Moscow will impose tighter controls over Turkish goods imported into the country including additional border and protection checks. 

"The Russian Government authorized Rosselkhoznadzor [federal agricultural supervision agency — TASS] 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 statement wrote. 

In attempt to justify this move, Russian Minister of Agriculture Alexander Tkachev claimed that "About 15% of Turkish agricultural products on average do not meet Russian standards."

According to the Russian Ministry of Agriculture, Russia imported a total of $1.7 billion worth of foods and agricultural products from Turkey in 2014.

The future of economic and trade relations between Russia and Turkey have become the focus of attention after a Turkish F-16 fighter jet shot down a Russian SU-24 warplane in northern Syria on Tuesday after it violated Turkish airspace. 

Since the incident, investors around the globe have been keeping a close eye on increasing geopolitical tensions between Russia and NATO member Turkey.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday said that Tuesday’s incident could jeopardise major bilateral trade and infrastructure deals between Turkey and Russia.

Russia’s federal tourism agency Rosturizm responding to the downing of the Russian aircraft on Tuesday urged tour operators to end sales to Turkey. Following this some Russian tour agencies suspended their sales of tours to Turkey while others stated that they will continue.

Turkey has been the favored destination for Russian travellers for 13 years. Last year, about 3.3 million Russians contributed $3.7 billion to the Turkish economy.

The main commodities Russia sells to Turkey are oil and gas while Russia buys agricultural produce, machine tools and services from Turkey.

The total trade between Turkey and Russia reached $31.6 billion in 2014.

In other news the US imposed sanctions on supporters of Syrian President Bashar al Assad's regime who have helped the regime buy oil from DAESH, and a Russian bank-Financial Alliance- that financed the regime, the US Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OPAC) said on Wednesday.

The US said it would freeze assets of six entities and four people. Any US transactions with them have been prohibited.

TRTWorld and agencies