Syria starts fruit export
The partial lull in fighting in Syria has enabled the country to export fruits and vegetables to Russia in what could eventually make it replace Turkey in supplies of food products to the country.
Kommersant business daily has reported that about 3,000 tons of oranges, lemons, grapefruit, tomatoes and cabbage from Syria were delivered to the Russian port of Novorossiysk last week.
The daily said the figure had been provided by Aslan Panesh, the managing director of Russia’s key food importer Adyg-Yurak.
Panesh has also emphasized in Kommersant’s report that his company has already started the related negotiations with local food retailers over selling Syrian fruits and vegetables.
“Poor quality packaging is still the problem which currently prevents us from regular supplies of Syrian fruit and vegetables to Russia,” he added in the report that was also carried by Russia Today.
Adyg-Yurak plans to invest in producing modern packaging in Syria in the next six months, Panesh added.
“The measure will enable the firm to import some 3,000-5,000 tons of Syrian fruit and vegetables weekly,” said the businessmen, stressing that the company had already invested over $3 million into logistical support. The overall investment will be up to $10 million, added Kommersant in its report.
Russia has imposed a food import ban on Turkey after a Turkish jet shot down one of its military planes over Syria in November.
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek said the ban could cost his country’s economy $3.1 billion this year.
Reports earlier said Russia is also negotiating with several other countries including Iran to increase food imports to fill the gap created by the ban on imports from Turkey.