Russia Plans to Strengthen Control of Turkish Food Imports
Russia plans to strengthen the control of food imports from Turkey by performing additional border and production checks.
The Russian government authorised the federal agricultural supervision agency, Rosselkhoznadzor, to strengthen control over agricultural products and food imports from Turkey and organise additional checks at borders and production plants in Turkey.
The measures were justified with the repeated violations of Russian standards by Turkish producers, with 15 % of Turkish agricultural products on average failing to meet Russian standards.
However according to a source within the Russian government, Moscow is not discussing the option of imposing an embargo on Turkish food products.
On Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov advised his fellow nationals to refrain from traveling to Turkey due to security concerns.
On Wednesday, Russian Agriculture Minister Alexander Tkachev said that Russia might substitute imports of Turkish vegetables with supplies from Iran, Israel, Morocco, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan if the need arises.
Tkachev added that, if necessary, Russia could replace imports of Turkish citrus fruits with deliveries from South Africa, Morocco, China, Argentina, Israel, Abkhazia, Georgia.
In 2014, the Russian imports of Turkish food and agricultural products amounted to USD 1.7 B. According to data provided by the ministry, Turkish vegetables account for 20% of the total Russian imports of vegetables, while a quarter of the total citrus fruits imported into Russia originate from Turkey.
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