Turkey and Russia signed a joint declaration to remove trade restrictions between the two countries on Monday.
The declaration was reportedly signed after a closed-door meeting between Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım and Russian counterpart Prime Minister Dimitry Medvedev, held in the sideline of the 25th-anniversary summit of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) in Istanbul.
The declaration was signed by Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek and his Russian counterpart Arkady Dvorkovich.
The declaration will be an important step towards the normalization of economic relations and increasing trade volumes.
Though there were no immediate details available, on the contents of the document, according to reports the declaration covers three major areas of trade restrictions. The first concerns restrictions imposed particularly on construction and tourism sector, which may be eased partially.
The second part is reported to cover the removal of bans on Turkish agricultural products, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, grapes and others. However, there was no official announcement on whether the signed declaration would permit exports of Turkish tomatoes to Russia, an issue which was left open to negotiations, earlier.
In the meantime, the third part is expected to settle the issue of visa restrictions. Following the jet downing crisis in November 2015, free-visa entry to Russia for Turkish citizens was revoked.
However, as the process to normalize bilateral ties peaked during President Erdoğan's visit to the Russian Black Sea resort city of Sochi on May 3, Turkey and Russia discussed the visa-free entry for Turkish businessmen.
On Nov. 24, 2015, the shooting down of a Russian fighter jet led to an unprecedented crisis in Turkey-Russia ties and prompted the latter to impose a raft of sanctions against Turkey.
These included an effective ban on Russian package holidays to Turkey, ruining the 2016 tourism season in the country's south.
The ban has been lifted and the dwindling number of Russian tourists to Turkey is recovering quickly.
After a reconciliation deal last summer, relations have seen a rapid improvement, with both sides working together in a bid to end the Syria conflict.
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