With Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev having on June 2 approved the lifting of sanctions against Turkish companies involved in construction, engineering and tourism, the doors of the Russian market are open again for Turkish contractors, Mithat Yenigün, president of the Turkish Contractors Association, said on June 4, according to Hurriyet Daily News.
Russia sanctioned a range of Turkish contractors, traders and industries after the downing of a Russian jet near the Syrian border by the Turkish air force in November 2015. The normalisation of bilateral relations began after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan paid a visit to Moscow in August 2016. However, Turkish contractors were still subject to sanctions in Russia until Medvedev signed a decree to lift them on June 2.
Russia amounted to the largest foreign market for Turkish contractors before the sanctions were imposed. Prior to the restrictions, Turkish contractors' total backlog reached $65bn, equivalent to around 20% of the total $350bn foreign backlog, and comprised of 1,930 projects, according to Yenigun.
Chinese firms have already entered the Russian market to replace Turkish counterparts, but Turkish contractors believe Turk Exim Bank’s support will help them to regain market share, according to Yenigun. However, Turkish contractors still need to “wait and see” how Russian will implement the sanctions-removal decree.
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