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Will a Russian boycott of Turkish goods benefit Israel?

Fruits and vegetables sold at a market
Fruits and vegetables sold at a market

On Thursday, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev announced a series of economic measures that Russia will enforce against Turkey after Ankara reportedly downed one of its warplanes.

“The government has been ordered to work out a system of response measures to this act of aggression in the economic and humanitarian spheres,” Medvedev said during a cabinet meeting.

Following the jet incident, Russian President Vladimir Putin advised citizens to avoid travelling to Turkey. On Wednesday, minister of agriculture Alexander Tkachev said that Russia was considering halting vegetables, foods and other produce that is imported from Turkey, due to a “breach in sanitary regulations.”

Instead, Tkachev listed Iran, Morocco, and Israel as substitutes, reports Israel’s Arutz Sheva. According to Turkish daily Sabah, Russia has entirely stopped importing turkish goods.

“Turkish vegetables account for 20 per cent of the total Russian imports of vegetables. Import of vegetables, tomatoes in the first place, will be substituted with those from Iran, Morocco, Israel, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan,” said Tkachev.

“Turkey imports about 250,000 tons of citrus fruits, a quarter of the total citrus imported into Russia,” he continued. “We can replace citrus imports by supplies from South Africa, Morocco, China, Argentina, Israel, Abkhazia, and Georgia.”

According to Russia’s ministry of agriculture, in 2014 Turkish food imports and other agriculture produce to Russia was approximately US$1.7 billion. Reportedly four per cent of Russia’s food imports come from Turkey.