ANKARA: Turkey intends to sign customs agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union in a bid to step up cooperation with the strategic trade ally- Russia. Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci announced about this in Izmir fair on August 18, RIA Novosti reports. Zeybekci added that Turkey and Russia complement each other and are not competitors.“Russia’s participation in the fair is of particular importance. The Russian side made a decision and participated in the exhibition during 4-5 months. We have a proposal to start negotiations on signing of the customs agreement with the EEU, without violating the relevant agreement with the EU. Turkey also wants to cooperate with the EEU in different form,” said Zeybekci during the plenary session “The new phase of the Russian-Turkish partnership in trade and economic area”. He added that the level of bilateral trade increased by 30 percent during the previous year and it’s “just a beginning.
Over 500 businessmen from Turkey and 250 businessmen from Russia participated in the Russian – Turkish Business Forum. The Forum will allow to discuss not only the steps made for the development of bilateral cooperation, but also the realization of common projects in third countries, according to the minister. “There are many sectors for cooperation – petrochemicals, agriculture and others – that will show us new potential. The agreement on free trade between Russia and Turkey will lead to a new level of partnership. This agreement will include investments,” Zeybekchi said.
Russia and Turkey continue to restore relations after the shoot down incident with the Russian SU-24 near the Turkish border on 24 November 2015. In 2016 Russia imposed a number of economic sanctions on Turkey, including the suspension of visa-free travel to Russia for Turkish citizens, limits on Turkish residents and companies doing business in Russia and bans on import of Turkish products as a response to Turkish military actions. Relations between Turkey and Russia have been fully restored, President Vladimir Putin said in a meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Sochi in May 2017.