Ankara, Moscow agree to ease ban on Turkish firms

Sat 11 March 2017 08:03 GMT | 12:03 Local Time

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Russia will remove work permit sanctions against Turkey as soon as possible, Putin says.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin agreed Friday to remove work permit sanctions against Turkish nationals and businesses, according to Anadolu Agency.

"We expect Russia to completely remove [economic] restrictions," Erdogan said at a news conference with Putin in Moscow.

"Only in this way will it be possible for us to reach our previously announced target of $100 billion trade volume."

Putin, for his part, said that Russia would "very soon" remove work permit sanctions against Turkey.

"Erdogan raised this issue today," he said, adding they especially discussed the situation of the Turkish workers in construction sector.

"We agreed on the date when this [sanction] will be removed. This ban will be lifted as soon as possible," Putin said.

He added technical issues remained in this regard, saying: "We will continue to solve other issues."

The last meeting between Erdogan and Putin was held last August after Turkey and Russia patched up the fallout from the downing of a Russian jet over the Turkish-Syrian border in November 2015.

After the Nov. 24, 2015 jet crisis, Moscow took several measures against Turkey, including restriction of visa-free travel to a ban on imports of certain foodstuffs and a ban on the sale of Turkish holiday packages by tourist agencies to Russians. Russia had also called on its nationals to boycott Turkey as a tourist destination following the crisis.

Since last summer, Russia has relaxed the sanctions imposed on Turkey in response to the jet incident and the countries have worked together to bring a cease-fire and political solution to Syria.

Relations were tested in December when the Russian ambassador in Ankara, Andrey Karlov, was assassinated in the Turkish capital. However, Putin declared the shooting a “provocation” designed to undermine Turkey-Russia relations.

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