Putin and Erdogan talk strategic partnership, lifting sanctions

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May 27, 2017 – Fort Russ News – 

RIA Novosti – translated by J. Arnoldski – 

Today, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed the implementation of agreements on lifting sanctions in the trade-economic sphere and questions of implementing large joint projects over the phone, the Kremlin’s press service has reported.

“The course of realizing agreements on mutually abolishing sanctions in the trade-economic sphere and issues of realizing large joint energy projects, such as the construction of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant and Turkish Stream, were touched on,” the press release reads.

The Russian and Turkish presidents also agreed to continue regular, personal contact. The two confirmed their mutual desire to further deepen strategic partnership between the two countries. In addition, the two countries’ leaders exchanged congratulations regarding the 25th anniversary of the signing of the treaty that established relations between the Russian Federation and Turkey.

In turn, Putin wished Erdogan success in his election to the post of General Chairman of the Party of Justice and Development of Turkey. 

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On March 15th, Turkish authorities amended the procedure for importing certain agricultural projects for processing within the country, such as wheat and sunflower oil. Russia was not included on the list of countries eligible for duty-free delivery. Turkish business representatives have explained such measures by the fact that Russia has not completely lifted the ban on Turkish exports to Russia, in particular on tomatoes.

In early May, following talks with Erdogan, Putin announced their agreement on a “comprehensive decision to lift trade restrictions,” pointing out that restrictions on tomato shipments are still in place. Putin explained that this issue is tied to recompensing Russian consumers’ losses. 

In Istanbul on Monday, May 22nd, Russia and Turkey signed a joint statement on mutually lifting sanctions in the trade sphere. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev confirmed, however, that restrictions on tomatoes would remain in force.

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On May 24th, Turkey introduced new restrictions on imports of Russian wheat and duty-free shipments of sunflower oil from Russia. According to representatives of Russian agriculture, the details of these restrictions have not bet announced on an official level. Turkish exporters have claimed that this initiative is theirs, not the country’s economy ministry, but remarked that the situation could change. 

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