MOSCOW: A technician inspects an orange in plant quarantine center, imported from Turkey according to representatives of the center, in the settlement of Bykovo, Moscow region, Russia.
Russia’s decision to spite Turkey for downing a Russian jet by cutting trade ties and tightening customs controls for Turkish goods reinforces Moscow’s image as an unreliable trade partner
Russia took a step to assure its trade partners by joining the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2012. As a member of the WTO, Russia has rules to obey; however, the country continues to find alternative ways to become the most unreliable trade partner of the world. Since the Russian Su-24 fighter was downed by Turkey for violating its airspace on Tuesday, reports and complaints regarding Russia’s implementation of non-reciprocal practices in trade ties and customs control have rapidly surfaced.
Following the downing of a Russian military jet by the Turkish Armed Forces, and having detained Turkish businesspeople as well as not letting Turkish trucks cross the border, Moscow has now started to not let Turkish trade vessels approach Russian ports. A Ro-Ro-type ship, which departed from Samsun in northern Turkey, was reportedly not allowed to approach the Novorossiysk Port. It was also reported that the ship is being kept in open waters. Still, Russia has not clearly declared that it will impose sanctions over Turkish goods, but will implement full inspection, which keeps the procedure legal. This, in turn, triggered the Transport, Maritime and Communication Ministry to take action. The ministry sent a written document to the Foreign Affairs Ministry offering to respond in the same way by relying on the mutuality principle. It has been reported that the Foreign Affairs Ministry has been moldering over the issue. If the ministry accepts the offer, Turkey may keep Russian trade vehicles at the border and deny them entry into the country.
The furious Russian government is looking for economic revenge against Turkey. On the other hand, experiencing trouble in bilateral trade relations has become a habit for Russia. Last week, Western leaders agreed to extend sanctions imposed on Russia for the Ukraine conflict by six months until July of next year, according to a Reuters’s story depending on information obtained from a senior European diplomat. In addition, Europe searches for alternative ways to cover its natural gas demand to decrease its dependency on Russian energy. Furthermore, the Ukrainian Ministry of Economic Development and Trade this week filed another lawsuit against the Russian Federation with the WTO, Ukraine Trade Representative Nataliya Mykolska wrote on Facebook.
The Russian economy shrank 2.2 percent, 4.6 percent and 4.1 percent in the first, second and third quarters of this year, respectively, compared to the previous year. Political conflicts that the country has experienced with its trade partners have dramatically damaged its economy.