Next Monday, Rosselkhoznadzor intends to ban the import of marrows, lemons and grapefruits of Turkish origin to Russia — all that is left in the allowed list — due to the systematic violations of sanitary requirements, the head of Rosselkhoznadzor Sergey Dankvert said.
"There are only marrows, grapefruits and lemons left, but we assess it as useless and on Monday we will bun all the agricultural products," RIA Novosti cited Dankvert as saying.
He recalled that violations of sanitary norms by Turkish suppliers have begun a long time ago. "We have worked with them for a long time, but the situation does not change, today there was another violation — 50 tons of marrows were stopped in Krasnodar," Dankvert said.
"Turkish importers deliver a lot of lemons, 60 thousand tonnes, but the lemons market is wide enough, South America delivers them, so our market, in spite of any closing, is flexible enough," the head of Rospotrebnadzor added.
Dankvert noted that there is no any political motive in the actions of his department.
The Kremlin also said that we shouldn't look for any political context in the plans of Rosselkhoznadzor to impose a ban on imports of Turkish fruits and vegetables. The Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stressed that Rosselkhoznadzor is not engaged in politics, it is engaged in its specific issues. "As far as I understand, there are very specific explanations, which indicate why such sanctions may be introduced," he noted.
"We are considering the introduction of restrictions on the rest fruits and vegetables, which has not yet fallen under the ban, as we continue to identify infected objects in the supplies," the deputy head of the Rosselkhoznadzor Julia Shvabauskene said.
The assistant head of Rosselkhoznadzor, Alexey Alexeyenko, also said that Rosselkhoznadzor may impose a ban on imports of fruits and vegetables from Turkey next week.
"Now we are talking only about vegetables and fruits," he said, noting that Turkish dried fruits and nuts will not fall under this restriction.
A research fellow at the center for agrarian and food policy at RANEPA, Vasily Uzun, speaking with a correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza, explained that these restrictions on Turkish products will be temporary. "Rosselkhoznadzor's recent announcement is not a ban on the imports, it's a so-called non-tariff regulation in connection with the presence of pests and the violation of standards of product deliveries. Such restrictions are temporary and after suppliers can prove that they have no problems or a claim is liquidated, the trade will be resumed. It is difficult to say how long it will last and how these restrictions affect prices," he said.
The expert believes that it will be easy to replace Turkish marrows, lemons and grapefruits. "Those products, mentioned in the statement of Rosselkhoznadzor, are not the main products of Turkey's exports to Russia, their volumes are relatively small and it will be easy to restore them. I hope that it will not have a significant impact on prices," Vasily Uzun noted.
"Although there is no detailed analysis of the redistribution of trade flows, we can see that Belarus is supplying fruits and vegetables to Russia. Azerbaijan is steadily increasing its deliveries to the Russian market. The Turkish exports may be potentially replaced by deliveries from the Central Asian republics as well," a research fellow at the center for agrarian and food policy at RANEPA noted.