Putin, Erdogan discuss efforts to fully restore Russia-Turkey economic ties

Tue 06 June 2017 20:02 GMT | 00:02 Local Time

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Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed in a phone call on Monday efforts aimed at the full restoration of bilateral trade and economic ties, Sputnik reported citing Kremlin press service.

"Separate issues of the bilateral cooperation have been discussed. The presidents particularly pointed out the successful work on full restoration of the Russian-Turkish trade and economic ties as well as the implementation of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline project," the statement said.

Russia and Turkey signed an intergovernmental agreement in October 2016 stipulating the construction of two underwater legs of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline in the Black Sea. The annual capacity of each leg is estimated to reach 15.75 billion cubic meters of natural gas. In May, Russian energy giant Gazprom announced the start of the construction of the pipeline's offshore section.

The Russian-Turkish trade has been facing significant difficulties since 2016 when Russia introduced a food embargo against Turkey in response to the 2015 downing of a Russian aircraft over Syria. In March, Russia’s National Association of Exporters of Agricultural Products (NAEAP) said that the Turkish authorities had suspended issuance of import licenses for Russian grain cultures and vegetable oil on March 15.
In May, Putin met with Erdogan in Sochi, with the two leaders agreeing to further ease mutual restrictive measures. Russia, however, insisted on keeping restrictions on Turkish tomato imports as well as postponing the reintroduction of a visa-free regime for Turkish nationals. Also in May, Turkish exporters decided to limit the share of Russian agricultural import in the whole import to 20–25 percent but a week later the restriction was lifted.

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