Russian ministry finds Turkish agricultural products ‘substandard'

By @snksounak on
Russian jet
A view shows the site of an Mi-8 helicopter crash near the town of Igarka in Krasnoyarsk region, Russia, November 26, 2015. An Mi-8 helicopter carrying employees of Russia's state oil company Rosneft crashed in the Krasnoyarsk region in Siberia on Thursday, regional transport prosecutors said. Reuters/Russia's Emergencies Ministry in Krasnoyarsk region/Handout via Reuters

After Turkey shot down a supersonic bomber aircraft from Russia, the Russian Ministry of Agriculture finds Turkish agricultural products “substandard.”

Moscow authorised federal agricultural supervision agency Rosselkhoznadzor to have more control over food supplies and agricultural products coming from Turkey to Russia. It will also organise additional checks at production sites in Turkey, the press service added.

"About 15 percent of Turkish agricultural products on average do not meet Russian standards," Russian News Agency TASS quoted Minister of Agriculture Alexander Tkachev as saying.

The Russian Ministry of Agriculture says, in 2014, Russia imported agricultural products and foods worth US$1.7 billion (AU$2.4 billion) from Turkey. Russian export of such products, on the other hand, was worth US$2.4 billion (AU$3.3 billion).

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev earlier alleged that Turkey had committed a “criminal act” by shooting down the Russian warplane. While Turkey said the jet had violated Turkish airspace, Moscow dismissed the claim.

"The direct consequences could lead to our refusal to take part in a whole raft of important joint projects and Turkish companies losing their positions on the Russian market," Medvedev said.

Despite the bilateral tension between the two countries, it is unlikely that the economic relation between Russia and Turkey will be affected much. Turkey is the second-largest buyer of Russian natural gas after Germany. Russia supplies almost 70 percent of the total gas Turkey consumes every year as Russia's Gazprom sells around 27 billion cubic metres of Russian natural gas to Turkey in a year.

Halting gas flows "would be a very tough decision as the export markets are bad, they are not rising but only getting tighter," Reuters quoted Mikhail Krutikhin from the RusEnergy consulting firm as saying.

"The loss of such a big market (as Turkey) would be very sensitive both for the state budget and for Gazprom."

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