Russia extends Western food embargo through 2017

Published 29.06.2016 19:37
Updated 29.06.2016 19:41
emReuters Photo/em
Reuters Photo

President Vladimir Putin has extended Russia's ban on imports of Western food until the end of 2017 after restoring trade relations with Turkey.

Wednesday's decree comes as the European Union is preparing to extend a set of sanctions against Russia for another six months. Russia's pre-emptive move reflects its irritation about the EU's reluctance to lift the penalties.

Putin Wednesday ordered bilateral trade relations with Turkey to restart shortly after speaking with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan over the phone.

Erdoğan's letter on Monday and 45 minutes on the phone have been enough to call off sanctions against Turkey after seven months of strained ties since Turkey downed a Russian warplane that violated Turkey's airspace near the Syrian border on Nov. 24, 2015.

Foreign trade volume between Turkey and Russia soared from $26.2 billion in 2010 to $31.2 billion by the end of 2014, a 17.3 percent upsurge. However, it was turned upside down after the incident of Nov. 24, 2015. While Russia was Turkey's seventh largest import partner in 2014, it was 20th as of May. In the first five months of this year, Turkey's exports to Russia fell dramatically, nearly 75 percent when compared to the same time period of 2014.

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