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Turkey, Russia Agree To Remove Some Sanctions In Step Toward Normalizing Relations


Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in Sochi on May 3

Russia and Turkey took another step toward normalizing ties on May 22, signing a memorandum that lifts trade restrictions.

Relations between Russia and Turkey, which support opposing sides in the Syrian war, have been strained since a Turkish fighter jet shot down a Russian warplane on the Turkish-Syrian border in late 2015.

The May 22 memorandum follows a meeting earlier this month between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, where the two pledged to restore ties.

"Decisions will follow immediately in accordance with government regulations. Colleagues will prepare changes to certain government acts, and I will sign them. Of course, as we agreed with the Turkish side, this will be reciprocated," Interfax quoted Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev as saying.

It was not immediately clear which goods would be included in the lifting of the sanctions. Turkey recently imposed what amounts to an effective 130 percent import tax on Russian products, including wheat, in a bid to help its importers.

Turkey is the largest importer of Russian wheat after Egypt.

Based on reporting by Interfax, Reuters, and Sputnik
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