RABAT, October 11. /TASS/. Russia will undertake responsive action against new restrictions imposed by Turkey on Russian agricultural produce and is not going to "turn the other cheek," Agriculture Minister Alexander Tkachev told reporters on Wednesday.
Turkey imposed additional requirements to import of agricultural products from Russia. Exporters of unrefined sunflower oil, corn, dry peas, unshelled rice, sunflower oil cake and durum wheat will not have to make additional certification of VAT invoices.
"We did not expect that; on the contrary, customs regime should be simplified. If such developments continue, we will respond appropriate to import of vegetables, citrus fruit, tangerines and oranges. This will lead to aggravation, rather than to removal of restrictions. We believe the Turkish market is interesting and promising for us and endeavor to relieve stress. Such decisions [lifting of restrictions] could have taken place this year," Tkachev said. "If Turkey continues inventing new obstacles and new barriers, we will certainly undertake appropriate measures. Nobody is going to turn the other cheek," the minister added.
New requirements of Turkey are more bureaucratic by nature, Tkachev said. "The latest decisions are not fully clear; they are more of the red tape. Grain deliveries become more complicated for our businessmen, [they] need to undergo coordination procedures. This is an extra bureaucratic burden that will not do anything good," he added.
Russia restricted deliveries of agricultural products from Turkey since January 1, 2016. Almost all restrictions have been lifted to date but the ban on tomatoes import is still kept. Deliveries of Turkish tomatoes to Russia are expected to start late in 2017, Russian Minister of Agriculture Alexander Tkachev said earlier in October.