Exports of Russian wheat to Turkey are facing another barrier, after Ankara introduced a new law restricting Russian imports to 25 percent of the total amount of grain imported. Russia’s main exporters confirmed the information reported by a business daily newspaper.
Turkey promised earlier this month to lift a 130 percent tariff on Russian wheat imports, which made business impossible for Russian exporters.
Ankara also imposed restrictions on duty-free imports of Russian sunflower oil. A spokesperson for the Turkish exporters union said that the decision had been made to diversify suppliers.
“We want to protect ourselves if we have problems with some country so that we will not be left with nothing,” he said.
In recent years, Turkey produced 75 percent of its flour from Russian wheat imports. Recriminatory trade restrictions between Russia and Turkey date back to November 2015, when Turkey shot down a Russian jet in Syria.
President Putin said Russia would not import Turkish tomatoes, as Russian farmers have taken out significant loans to boost domestic production and construct greenhouse facilities. He added Russia would only buy tomatoes from Turkey when the domestic harvest does not meet demand.
Before the deterioration in relations, 70 percent of Turkish tomatoes were exported to Russia.