Following the talks between President Putin and President Erdogan in the beginning of May 2017, the President of Russia today (May 31) signed a decree lifting some of the sanctions introduced against the Republic of Turkey back in November 2015 (the "Decree"). The Decree becomes effective immediately.

In particular, according to the Decree, the following sanctions have been lifted:

  1. On Turkish companies from carrying out certain business activities in Russia;
  2. On Russian legal entities from hiring Turkish citizens.

What Remains in Force

Not all sanctions have been lifted, however. In particular, Turkish companies are still prohibited for importing certain goods into Russia. The list of sanctioned goods is provided by the Russian Government and includes such products, as:

  • Parts and sub-products of chicken, frozen;
  • Parts and sub-products of turkey, frozen;
  • Tomatoes, fresh or cooled;
  • Cucumbers and gherkins, fresh or cooled;
  • Grapes, fresh;
  • Apples, fresh;
  • Pears, fresh;
  • Strawberries, including wild, fresh.

According to the press release, the trade embargo was preserved with a view not to harm those Russian producers that have already made investments to compensate for a lack of supply of the sanctioned goods. We expect trade restrictions to be abolished in the future as well.

The ban on visa-free travel for majority of Turkish citizens also remains in force. However, certain restrictions have been loosened to allow visa-free entry for short trips for certain frequent travelers, such as airline crews members and diplomatic staff.

The Decree opens up the Russian market for Turkish companies willing to do business in Russia. It should also stimulate mutually beneficial economic relations between the two countries.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.