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ARKHANGELSK, Russia, March 29 (Reuters) - Russia’s and Turkey’s economy ministries plan to hold talks on Russian grain supplies to Turkey in early April, Russian deputy economy minister Alexei Gruzdev said on Wednesday.
Turkey has put purchases of wheat, maize (corn) and sunflower from Russia on hold by imposing high import tariffs from mid-March. Ankara officially denies any bans on imports from Russia, while Moscow has said that the move is hindering relations.
“We keep the vector on development of bilateral relations,” Gruzdev said on the sidelines of an International Arctic Forum in Russia’s northern city of Arkhangelsk.
He declined to estimate when the issue could be resolved.
The reason for Ankara’s move remains officially unclear, however, the Turkish economy ministry has said that an improvement in political ties with Russia was “not fully reflected yet in economic relations” as Russia is yet to restore visa-free regime with Turkey after a previous row.
Gruzdev declined to comment on when the visa issue could decided, saying that it was a question of bilateral contacts. (Reporting by Denis Pinchuk; writing by Maria Tsvetkova and Polina Devitt; editing by David Evans)