MOSCOW, March 9. /TASS/. Prime Ministers Dmitry Medvedev of Russia and Binali Yildirim of Turkey on Thursday had a telephone call, in the course of which they discussed measures to build up bilateral trade and to ease the access to each other’s markets for manufactured goods and agricultural produce.
The press service of the Russian cabinet of ministers said Medvedev and Yildirim also took up the implementation of large joint projects in the energy sector and collaboration in the sphere of transport.
Earlier on Thursday, Turkey’s Minister of Economy Nihat Zeybekci said his country hoped for more active steps on Moscow’s part towards the lifting of restrictions on the imports of Turkish farming produce.
"In spite of the political will displayed by the two countries’ presidents, the lifting of sanctions is getting dragged out in practical terms," he said. "We awaited the ending of procedures patiently but now we’re set to resolve the problem eventually."
Zeybekci said Turkey was exporting $ 1.7 billion worth of agricultural produce to Russia. It also was number two biggest importer of Russian grain and number one importer of Russian sunflower seed oil.
Zeybekci recalled that Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Tayyip Recep Erdogan had agreed to consider the turnover of transactions in national currencies.
"The issue has been discussed at the level of economics ministers and presidents of central banks," he said. "I think the efforts to sign a swap agreement have entered the final stage now."
"Hope the results of the visit (President Erdogan’s visit to Moscow on March 9-10) will enable us to finalize this work," Zeybekci said.
In January 2016, Russia imposed a ban on the imports of Turkish vegetables and fruit, as well as of frozen turkey and chicken carcasses against the background of a surge of political complications in bilateral relationship.
In addition to it, the Russian phytosanitary authorities banned the imports of some categories of Turkish vegetable products, like bell peppers, pomegranates, eggplants, lettuces, marrows, and pumpkins
In October 2016, Russia partially lifted the farming embargo and simultaneously permitted the imports of fruit from Turkey, including stone fruits and citrus cultures. Discussions on the unbanning of the rest of farming products are underway at present.