On 28 November 20151 Russia imposed a range of economic sanctions against Turkey, in the wake of the downing of a Russian Su-24 warplane by Turkish F-16 fighter jets. The two main targets of the newly imposed sanctions are the Turkish agricultural sector and the Turkish tourism industry.
The restrictive measures include a ban on the importation of a range of Turkish agricultural products. This ban will come into effect on 1 January 2016. The current list of prohibited Turkish products includes chicken, turkey, carnations, tomatoes, onions, oranges, mandarins, salt, peaches and other fruits and vegetables.
This follows a similar agricultural ban imposed in August 2014, in response to the EU, US, Canadian, Australian and Norwegian sanctions against Russia. That ban affects various products, including beef, pork, poultry, fish, fruits, vegetables, milk and cheese from the EU, US, Canada, Australia, Norway, Ukraine, Albania, Montenegro, Iceland and Lichtenstein. The agricultural ban against these countries is currently set to expire in August 2016, but may be renewed.
In addition to the agricultural ban, Russia imposed the following restrictions:
- Charter flights between Turkey and Russia were prohibited as of 1 December 2015. Regular flights should not be affected, although Russia will increase security on those flights.
- Suspension of visa-free travel for Turkish nationals.
- As of 2016, Russia will limit the amount of bilateral road haulage permits for Turkish hauliers to 2,000 per year. The Russian Ministry of Transport will also have the discretion to reduce this number to zero and cancel all bilateral road haulage permits for Turkish hauliers.
- Russian tour operators are requested to halt the sales of tours to Turkey.
- As of 1 January 2016, Russian companies will be prohibited from employing Turkish nationals. An exception is made for Turkish nationals already employed in Russia as of 31 December 2015. In addition, the Russian Ministry of Labour will publish a list of Russian companies exempted from this prohibition.
All the sanctions have been imposed for an indefinite period and, according to Alexey Ulyukaev, Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, the duration of the sanctions against Turkey will depend on “the developments of the current situation”.
Russia is also contemplating prohibiting Turkish companies from providing certain services and performing certain works in Russia. The list of the prohibited activities is currently being prepared by the Russian Ministry of Economic Development.