Food imports hit by Turkish-Russian spat

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Russia cracks down on Turkish food imports, in the first public move to curb trade with Ankara following the downing of a Russian fighter jet. Joel Flynn reports.

Food imports hit by Turkish-Russian spat

Since the downing of a Russian jet on Tuesday, Turkey’s relations with Moscow are, like this orange, rotten.

Experts at a quarantine plant near Moscow inspect imports from Istanbul.

Vitaly Kulakov is helping lead the team.

SOUNDBITE: Centre For Plant Quarantine Expert, Vitaly Kulakov, saying (Russian):

“The sorts of things that can infect fruit and vegetables get into Russia from places like South Europe and the Mediterranean, including Turkey, especially since Turkey’s level of agriculture is rather low.”

The timing of these types of inspections may raise eyebrows.

The Turkish foreign ministry says business interests in Russia have come under attack since the Russian jet was shot down.

Turkey accounts for about 4 percent of Russia’s total food imports.

But new Russian research say 15 percent of those imports don’t meet regulations.

Faruk Celik is Turkey’s Agriculture Minister.

SOUNDBITE: Turkish Agriculture Minister, Faruk Celik, saying (Turkish):

“When you look at the statistics it’s obvious Russian farmers will be affected more than Turkish farmers, so this should be dealt with calmly. We need to focus on the downing of the plane and overcome problems from that perspective.”

There will still be worries on both sides though.

IHS Global Insight’s Jan Randolph.

SOUNDBITE: IHS Global Insight Director Of Sovereign Risk, Jan Randolph, saying (English):

“It’s unfortunate this. The Russians have already taken action, they’ve aimed to discourage Russian tourists from visiting Turkey. For Turkey, Russian tourists are very, very important – something like three million a year.”

A diplomatic spat over the shooting down of Russia’s jet shows no signs of healing.

But for now it’s the farmers paying the price.

Tags : Spat, Turkishrussian, imports, food

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