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Date of signing Russia-Turkey trade deal can be set by yearend — minister

July 27, 2016, 9:00 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The Turkish economy minister says the free trade area agreement between Russia and Turkey may be formalized in 2017

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MOSCOW, July 27. /TASS/. Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci does not rule out that the free trade area agreement between Russia and Turkey will be formalized in 2017. In his view, the two countries will take a final decision on the dates of its signing by the end of this year.

"To date, we have been unable to set a new date for signing the agreement, but I think we will do that by the end of the year," he told the Rossiya 24 TV channel. "Possibly, the agreement will be coordinated and signed in 2017."

He noted that the issue of goods that could be subject to the agreement remains open. "This is another question to be discussed, but it should not be a problem. The Customs Union with the EU is one thing, while a free trade agreement with Russia is the other. I can say that our aim is to include agricultural products in the talks in the future as well," the minister added.

In 2015, Russia and Turkey said they were planning to sign a free trade area agreement in the field of services and investment. Russian Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said at that time that the agreement could be signed in 2016. However, Russia imposed a number economic restrictions over the Su-24 jet shootdown, and the negotiations were suspended.

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