Turkey, Russia sign deal to normalize trade relations

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ISTANBUL, TURKEY - MAY 22: Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek (R) and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich (L) sign a joint declaration between Turkey and Russia as Prime Minister of Turkey Binali Yidirim and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev stand behind them within the 25th Anniversary Summit of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation in Istanbul, Turkey on May 22, 2017. AFP

Turkey and Russia signed a declaration in İstanbul on Monday to normalize trade relations, which were badly affected after a jet-downing crisis in 2015.

According to the document signed by the deputy prime ministers of Russia and Turkey, Arkady Dvorkovich and Mehmet Şimşek, respectively, on the sidelines of the 25th anniversary summit of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC), the two governments will cooperate on normalizing and developing economic ties, and enhance the bilateral trade volume between the two nations.

Prime Ministers Binali Yıldırım and Dimitry Medvedev were also present at the signing ceremony.

On May 3, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, announced that Moscow had agreed to lift all sanctions imposed on imported items from Turkey except tomatoes.

Putin said Moscow would maintain its embargo on the import of tomatoes from Turkey and that its visa restrictions on Turkish nationals would remain in place for the time being.

Turkey’s relations with Russia were badly affected after a Turkish jet shot down a Russian jet on Nov. 24, 2015, killing the pilot and prompting Russia to impose sanctions on Ankara including a ban on Russian package holidays to Turkey.

The relations started to normalize after Erdoğan formally apologized Putin in June 2016.

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