The Russian government has announced that it is lifting sanctions on importing tomatoes from Turkey, scrapping another restriction it imposed in the aftermath of the downing of a Russian fighter jet in 2015.
According to a decree published on Thursday, 50,000 tons of fresh and freezed tomatoes from Turkey will enter Russia as of November 1.
"The amendment will allow Turkey to export tomatoes in the amounts approved by the Agriculture Ministry under the guarantee of a competent Turkish agency and under the supervision of the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Supervision [Rosselkhoznadzor] starting Nov. 1, 2017," the Russian Government said in a statement.
The two countries previously agreed on the import of Turkish tomatoes to start on December 1, however, the Russian side backdated the import to a month earlier.
On Oct. 18, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said they would allow the import of 50,000 tons of Turkish tomatoes to Russia starting in December.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said that they were planning to purchase tomatoes from only four Turkish producers, while, Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci voiced opposition, saying there was a political pressure about the decision.
Dvorkovich also said Friday that Moscow expects Turkey to open its market for Russian meat producers "soon," according to Russia's official Tass news agency.
Russia was one of the largest import markets for Turkish tomatoes when it imposed economic restrictions against Turkey in retaliation for a Turkish fighter jet shooting down a Russian warplane on the Syrian border in 2015. Some Turkish agricultural imports were affected as well as firms involved in construction, engineering and tourism.
However, over the summer, Russia relaxed trade sanctions placed on Turkey.
The Russian-Turkish trade relationship was affected by the dispute over supplies of Turkish tomatoes to Russia as it remained a major problem in the process of the normalization of relations.