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Monday, October 24, 2016

Turks circumvent sanctions: “Perekleivanie labels, forge customs documents

According to the press Secretary of the Russian Union of travel industry Irina Tyurina, the majority of Russians vacationing in Turkey, was not informed about attempted coup and riots in Istanbul and Ankara. However, as life shows, even international conflicts at the highest level to a certain point may not affect the life. “MK” tried to figure out how the warming of relations between Ankara and Moscow has affected trade relations between the two countries. And it turned out that the food route Turkey–Russia is not interrupted in spite of the sanctions.

photo: Mikhail Kovalev

Sanctions list

According to the special economic measures taken by Russia against the Turkish Republic after shot down in November 2015 su-24 in the skies over Syria and the death of the Russian pilot, from January 1, 2016, was imposed a ban on the import into Russia of several types of food. Including restrictive list included strawberry, oranges, tangerines, grapes, apples, pears, apricots, peaches, nectarines, plums, and tomatoes, cucumbers, cauliflower and broccoli, onions. In addition, under the ban were frozen cuts and offal of chickens and turkeys, fresh cloves and salt.

It is significant that not even all the members of the Turkish Embassy at the moment can boast of an accurate knowledge of the situation. So, in an informal conversation one of the representatives of institutions have noticed that while in business terms “unfreezing” only affected the tourism sector, and all that relates to agriculture, remains under the ban. In any case, that’s exactly right for tomatoes and citrus, and some summer products (like cherries) and so sanctions are not imposed. “At least I’m talking about progress with the agricultural products have not heard anything,” — said the diplomat.

Label for custom

At the network gas station find familiar with perestroika chewing gum of Turkish origin with funny liners about love. In 2002, the Ministry for Antimonopoly policy upheld the complaint of the Turkish company and banned domestic bakers to produce the same gum-plagiarism. In the period of political tension known brand, however, under sanctions like were not included, however range of popular gas network appeared only recently. As explained by the seller, chewing gum to them were imported about a month ago.

Block with a couple dozen rubber bands costs nearly 200 rubles, but for the sake of strengthening Russian-Turkish relations, buy it and unfolding sweetness. On the wrapper the girl with the MOP and other economic tools is smiling near collapsed on the couch boy. The inscription reads: “Love that… a few times subtly hint at it”. Quite symbolic, if you recall, began the next inter-state warming. (In late June, Erdogan sent the Kremlin a letter of apology, after which Putin promised to restore the tourist a message from the Republic.)

Find Turkish sweet cherry fails in the first supermarket. More, judging by the labels, no Turkish fruits-vegetables no. Staff room occupied by the display of goods, admit that they do not know where that is imported, and the inscriptions do not pay attention.

The wholesale-food base “Food city” (hence the vegetables and fruits differ in many counters) among the sellers are not fully understood, can open trade with the Turkish harvest or is it still banned. Therefore, some in response to the question: “what do you have from Turkey?” — I shake my head, saying, it is impossible, while others are willing to show the boxes with ripe cherries, apricots, grapes, peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes. And on the labels pasted on the packaging, in the column “Country of origin” so directly and stated: “Turkey, Izmir”, etc. However, one thing has become clear: the Turkish goods are… was in Russia during the whole time of the sanctions prohibitions. Some typical conversations:

And tomatoes you Turkish?

— What are you, a girl, not Turkish, Krasnodar.

— Sorry, I wanted Turkish.

— Well, then Turkish, why didn’t you say…

Stalls with fruits:

The girl come in, take the cherries delicious.

— But where is she?


— Why on the box it says “Somalia”?

— Yes, there is some cherry there’s only the pirates! A label pasted to a custom pass.

Photo: AGN Moscow.

A couple of workers of base, talking about life, tell me what vegetables and fruits one is better to take: Uzbek, Armenian, from distant countries. At the same time spread that Turkish products are not really left the shelves, however, suppliers had to hurry up, playing hide and seek. “I know, carrying the goods through Azerbaijan, but the documents needed to be falsified because the customs were problems”, — has confidently shared the source. In another version, “illegal” is also carried through Belarus.

— To be honest, the lack of Turkish products on the shelves I did not feel, — shares with “MK” Muscovite Marina, the owner of a property in Turkey. For example, lack of citrus, as he claimed our power in the winter really wasn’t, and the taste of our mandarins is not inferior to the former, and the prices are kept very reasonable, 80-100 rubles per kg.

Thus, according to the woman, she, like many other members of the group of the Russian-speaking community Turkish Alania on Facebook, an unpleasant impression of broadcast frames when the excavators crushed the party of Turkish mandarins, and the statements of the authorities about the revealed defects of food. So, in December 2015, before the commencement of the official ban on Turkish citrus, Rosselkhoznadzor said about the detention in the port of Novorossiysk 20-ton batch of mandarins infected with Mediterranean fruit fly. It was added that during the year identified 15 lots of tangerines of about 350 tons that do not meet the phytosanitary requirements of Russia, and in addition, detained a large shipment of apricots, where there was a dangerous quarantine pest, the flower thrips. People asked better to hand out free fruit to children in orphanages. It was also reported that Turkish farmers went on a demonstration with slogans such as “Russian brothers, we are the same, nothing has changed, do not give up our work.”

“It’s unpleasant that as soon as relations were strained, and once the fruit is bad, and resorts, and then all, as if by magic, again becomes good. As if we participate in the farce. Maybe tangerines excavators only in the camera pressed?” — asks the rhetorical question Muscovite.

Meanwhile, according to a recent survey of Fund “Public opinion”, only 27% of Russians favor the restoration of relations of Russia and the Turkish Republic. 60% believe that Moscow should not hurry, while 55% believe that the Turkish side is more interested in such contacts than we do. The number of supporters and opponents of the decision of President Putin about the lifting of the ban on the sale of tours to Turkey is approximately equal to 42% and 39% respectively.

Lemons will return, and the tomatoes hardly

In early July, the employees of the greenhouse complex near Moscow Matveevskaya”, where they grow cucumbers and tomatoes, complained to the head of the government, that cheap Turkish tomatoes may soon again to oust the Russian and the domestic manufacturer, as always, will remain with the nose.

Medvedev sought to reassure the people. “No decisions was not accepted, we will discuss with Turkish partners, why and how, but it does not mean that we immediately ran and opened, all” — said the Prime Minister.

However, no response had two main questions: when and what exactly will be allowed to import? Later, the Minister of agriculture Alexander Tkachev shed some light on the situation. According to him, the abolition of the Turkish predamage in the near future will not.

As you know, restrictions were introduced with the beginning of the year in two ways. The list of decrees of the government were Turkish strawberries, oranges, tangerines, grapes, apples, pears, apricots, peaches, nectarines, plums, tomatoes, cucumbers. In the spring, the Rosselkhoznadzor has banned imports of peppers, pomegranates, aubergines, salads of lettuce and iceberg, zucchini, pumpkins.

In 2014, Russia imported from Turkey of agricultural products and food for $1.8 billion Turkish delivery in the total volume of Russian imports of these products amounted to 4.3%. The share of fruits, fruits and nuts accounted for 46.9% of imports, including 23% for citrus, 10.8 per cent of grapes. The share of vegetables 34%, including to 24.9% for fresh tomatoes.

At best, “gateways” will be lifted gradually from the end of 2016, when domestic fruits and vegetables in season. Starting with citrus, pomegranates. Tomatoes, cucumbers, apples can even be banned for many years.

As has declared “MK” the representative of the Ministry of agriculture Ekaterina Popova, for the full import substitution needs to increase the production of greenhouse tomatoes and cucumber to 1 million tons by 2020, which will require construction or upgrading of at least 2 million hectares of greenhouses. Last year, the Ministry has selected 25 such investment projects, the construction of which is partially subsidized by the government. This year it is planned to build at least 260 hectares of greenhouses, that will increase vegetable production by 100 thousand tons.

Thus, in 2015 the growth of greenhouse products amounted to 4% to 710 thousand tons, this year it is planned to add another 14%.

However, these rates are inadequate as a security hothouse vegetables — only 42%. Rapid development is hindered by high electricity tariffs (from 2 to 6 RUB per kW/h) because the greenhouses are among the most energy-intensive industries.

“Investors are now due to the construction of own gas generation reduce the cost of electricity to 2 rubles per kW/h, but this leads to an increase of the investment costs of projects by 30-40% and increase the costs of content generation,” says Vice-President of “OPORA Russia” Paul Segal. — The share of agricultural producers in the total consumption of electricity in Russia is only 1.5% (16 billion kWh), while the share of industry accounts for 53%. Even if you compare the minimum fare is 2 rubles per kW/h, that is six times higher than electricity prices in large enterprises. According to my calculations, the possible government’s decision on the alignment of tariffs will reduce the cost of peasants to 26.4 billion rubles. Thus, reduced the cost of vegetable production output, we get an additional competitive advantage over imported products”.

Sanctions . Chronicle of events

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