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Russia May Ban All Remaining Turkish Fruit and Veg Imports

Russia's agriculture watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor plans to ban all vegetables and fruit imports from Turkey next week, the Interfax news agency reported Thursday.

According to deputy head of Rosselkhoznadzor, Yulia Shvabauskene, the agency is considering this measure as “they continue to find Turkish food products that need to be quarantined,” Interfax reported.

The new restrictions would apply only to Turkey's squash, grapefruit and lemons, as the import of the rest of the country's vegetables and fruit had already been banned by Russia.

Starting from Jan. 1, Moscow halted the imports of the majority of Turkish fruit and vegetable products as part of the sanctions imposed by the Kremlin over the downing of a Russian Su-24 fighter jet near the Syrian border.

The incident on Nov. 24, 2015, had a dramatic effect on Russian-Turkish relations.

Earlier this year, Russia added peppers, pomegranates and eggplants to the Turkish embargo.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday that the ban on a range of Turkish imports is not connected with politics.

“Rosselkhoznadzor is not involved in politics. It is involved in its own specific area. As I understand there are absolutely concrete explanations, which state why these restrictions can be imposed,” he was quoted as saying by the TASS news agency.

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