Russia hints at ditching Turkish tomatoes for Uzbek produce

Tomatoes – a product that has come to measure relations between Russia and Turkey and once again been cast into the spotlight after Moscow’s Minister of Economic Development lashed out at Ankara’s poor quality of the fruit saying the country prefers importing from Uzbekistan.

Oreshkin said that they can import fruit and vegetables from Uzbekistan instead of Turkey.

“In my opinion, Turkish products are slightly lower in quality. Personally, I prefer Uzbekistan ones, instead of Turkey products,” Minister Maxim  Oreşkin explained that especially Uzbek tomatoes might replace Turkish ones.

Oreşkin made the statement amidst ongoing negotiations to eliminate trade barriers between Russia and Uzbekistan on agricultural products.

He referred to a number of protocols signed to increase Tashkent’s share in the Russian market.

Oreshkin hinted that Uzbekistan products could weaken the space of Turkish agricultural products, according to Turkish Sputnik.

Oreshkin said if they import tomatoes from Uzbekistan, the price will fall as the transport cost is less.

In the near past, tomatoes become a symbol of ‘measuring’ the relation between Turkey and Russia whether good or bad.

Turkish jets shut down Russian aircraft in 2015 and following the incident, Moscow stopped importing a series of agricultural products from Turkey. Turkish farmers and investors have suffered heavily since the jet incident. Ankara officially apologized to Russia after which Moscow gradually lifted the import ban on Turkey.

However, during the tension period, Russia provided loans to local agriculture manufacturers to reduce imports from Turkey but the tomato ban continued for a while. Russia removed the Turkish tomatoes import ban on November 2017 but introduced 50 000 ton import quota and removed this restriction.

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