: :inin Kyiv (EET)

Russia starts buying fruit, vegetable from Syria


Russia has started buying fruit and vegetables from Syria seeking to at least partially replace Turkish imports banned since January, Russian newspaper Kommersant reported.
Vegetables and fruits are delivered to wholesale and retail food center ”Food City,” while the importing company Adyg-Yurak is said to be in talks with major retailers.
It is reported that the second batch of about 3,000 tonnes of oranges, lemons, grapefruit, tomatoes and cabbage arrived in the port of Novorossiysk last week.
The newspaper notes that the sole owner of Adyg-Yurak is Aslan Panesh, but the company is actually controlled by owners of Europeisky shopping center Zarakh Iliev and God Nisanov, and the former is believed to be in ”good relations” with Panesh.
At the same time, an informed source told Kommersant that the businessmen offer Adyg-Yurak partnership assistance, such as providing the company with rent areas in ”Food City” at lower rates. If business on supplies of food products from Syria is established, the owners of Kievskaya Ploshchad company will be able to purchase stakes in Adyg-Yurak, according to the source.
Also, if Iliev and Nisanov become co-owners of Adyg-Yurak, the company will have a strong support: since the owners of Kievskaya Ploshchad have a powerful partner – Ilham Rahimov, who was told to be Putin`s classmate, according to Forbes, under a number of development projects.
Currently, Adyg-Yurak is said to hold negotiations on sales of Syrian products with a number of Russian retailers.
In turn, executive director of SovEcon analytical center Andrei Sizov is confident that Adyg-Yurak will face difficulties with concluding supply contracts with large retailers due to the risks associated with ongoing fighting in Syria. Also, the main problem for the establishment of permanent imports is poor quality of packaging.
As reported earlier, imports of Turkish vegetables and fruits to Russia stopped in January 2016 after relationships between the two countries had deteriorated following the incident with the downed Russian bomber Su-24, which had allegedly violated Turkish airspace.

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