Ankara is "absolutely" against Russia's decision to limit the number of companies importing Turkish tomatoes, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci has said. Russia in October signed a decree, lifting its restrictions on the import of tomatoes from Turkey beginning Nov. 1, 2017. However, Moscow implemented an import quota.
"Amendments to the list of agricultural produce, raw materials and food products originating from the Republic of Turkey, the import of which has been banned since Jan. 1, 2016, stipulate that the term ‘fresh or chilled tomatoes' be amended with a footnote saying that the produce imported within the import quota approved by the Agriculture Ministry shall be excluded from the ban," the Russian government said in a statement. He said Ankara now records all Turkey's imports from Russia. "There is only one reason for this [recording]. If needed, we will do the same. We can also select a company and import [from Russia]," Zeybekci said.
He also said that visa procedures for Turkish companies took time and Ankara is planning to take some steps that will ease the process. The ban on Turkish agricultural products was placed after Turkey shot down a Russian military jet over an airspace violation in November 2015. Moscow also took several other measures against Ankara, including the cancellation of visa-free travel for Turks.