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Russian cabinet is not discussing food embargo against Turkey — source

November 25, 2015, 21:34 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Minister of Agriculture Alexander Tkachev said that Russia may substitute import of vegetables from Turkey with those supplied from Iran, Israel, Morocco and other countries
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© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, November 25. /TASS/. The Russian government is not discussing food embargo against Turkey, a source with the cabinet told TASS.

"The food embargo with regard to products from Turkey is not discussed by the government," - the source told the agency when answering a question about the consequences of the recent incident.

On Tuesday, a Su-24M frontline bomber of the Russian aviation group in Syria crashed in the Syrian territory. The plane was downed by an air-to-air missile launched by a Turkish F-16 fighter.

Later on Tuesday, Russia’s Foreign Ministry and the Federal Tourism Agency recommended Russian citizens refrain from travelling to Turkey due to security threats.

On Wednesday, Minister of Agriculture Alexander Tkachev said that Russia may substitute import of vegetables from Turkey with those supplied from Iran, Israel, Morocco and other countries if needed.

"Turkish vegetables account for 20% of the total Russian imports of vegetables. Import of vegetables, tomatoes in the first place, will be substituted with those from Iran, Morocco, Israel, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan," the Minister said, adding that Turkey supplies more than 360,000 tonnes of tomatoes to Russia.

He also said that Russia, if necessary, could replace imports of citrus from Turkey by deliveries from South Africa, Morocco and other countries.

"Turkey imports about 250,000 tonnes of citrus fruits, a quarter of the total citrus imported into Russia. We can replace citrus imports by supplies from South Africa, Morocco, China, Argentina, Israel, Abkhazia, Georgia," the Head of the Agriculture Ministry said.

According to the data provided by the ministry, in 2014 Turkish imports of food and agricultural products to Russia stood at $1.7 bln, which is in line with the previous year. Turkey accounted for 4% of Russia’s total food imports. In the first 10 months of this year Turkey supplied $1 bln worth of food, which is a 20% decrease compared with the previous year.

Besides citrus Turkey supplies tomatoes to Russia. Turkish tomatoes account for one fourth of total exports of Turkish food products to the Russian market.

Russia also imports grapes (10%) sunflower seeds (5%) as well as small volumes of different fruit and vegetables, fish and confectionery.

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