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Last updateMon, 23 May 2016 12am

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Representatives of Turkey will not be visiting Moscow on April 26 to discuss the situation regarding sanctions on exports to Russia because officials were unable to obtain visas, the deputy head of Russia’s Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance Service (Rosselkhoznadzor) Alexey Alekseyenko told RIA Novosti.

Author: Irina Koziy, RK Marketing/Fruit News Director

There is an active, ongoing discussion in media regarding a story about an export scheme in which Polish fruits were passed off as Moldovan with counterfeit certificates. Even federal television channels gave screen time to the revelation of this issue. Moldovan officials and businessmen from Belarus, Lithuania and Estonia are being blamed for the "Moldovication" of 20 thousand tonnes of Polish products that had found a second home in the eastern European country.

The Director General of the Ukrainian Association of Retail Chain Suppliers Alexey Doroshenko, in an interview with the information agency Ukrainian News, said that the recent drop in prices of vegetables and fruits on the Ukrainian market is in response to Russia's restrictions on Turkish goods.

Russia's embargo on fresh produce from European Union member states, the US and allied countries has been in force for over a year and a half. Also, in January of this year, Turkish exports including tomatoes, cucumbers and some greens were restricted.

Not far from the border with Russia, Belarusian police seized 32 tractor trailers filled with vegetables and fruit, which would have been considered contraband under Russia's current list of sanctions, that were headed for the eastern market.

Restrictions against all Turkish plant products could be put into action as soon as next month if talks between the two countries are not initiated, the head of Russia's Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance Service, Sergey Dankvert, said.

Belarus is losing trade turnover because of the ongoing trade sanctions between Russia and the European Union. The country's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vladimir Makei, said that Belarus is suffering because of the embargo.

Belarusian exporters continue to increase exports of fruits and vegetables to Russia, filling a hole in the produce market share that opened up following the embargo. As a result, imports into Belarus have simultaneously been on the rise alongside its export volumes largely due to Russia's counter-measures. Frozen fruits, vegetables, lettuce, onions, stone fruit, garlic, apples and pears are the sectors that suffered the most in the Russian market because it is difficult to find replacements to these types of produce. However, these are also the categories that have seen impressive increases in Belarusian imports over the course of the year with distinct increases in exports of these categories supplied to the Russian market in 2015.

Russia's Federal Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance Service (Rosselkhoznadzor) reported that according to point 1 of article VII of the International Convention for the Quarantine and Plant Protection relating to the systematic Turkish suppliers on March 17, 2016, the Russian agency initiated temporary restrictions on pepper (commodity code 0709601000) and grenades (0810909800) imports, including through third countries.

A bill that would penalize the sale of sanctioned food products with a fine of up to 1 million rubles again reaches the State Duma, the lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia

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