The recent ban on tomato exports to Russia was very unexpected for us - President Aliyev

The recent ban on tomato exports to Russia was very unexpected for us, of course. I remember the Russian side appealing to us a few years ago – at that time, sanctions were imposed on Russia. They asked us to increase Azerbaijan's agricultural exports to Russia, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev said chairing a meeting in a video format on the country's results of 2020, SİA reports.

“As for the liberated lands, we must do our work in a planned manner. First, food security. Second, we need to increase our export potential. We must diversify our export potential here as well because the recent ban on tomato exports to Russia was very unexpected for us, of course. I remember the Russian side appealing to us a few years ago – at that time, sanctions were imposed on Russia. They asked us to increase Azerbaijan's agricultural exports to Russia. It was after that that there was a very significant increase. If we compare the export of tomatoes to Russia from four to five years ago and last year, we will see a huge difference. If that ban had not been imposed – although a part of that ban has already been lifted – our exports would have reached 200,000 tons last year. But you and the government know these figures quite well. They were lower four to five years ago. In other words, we need to review our agricultural exports. We must look for new markets to avoid such unpleasant situations and increase the range of agricultural products. We must enter new markets, provided that traditional markets remain. I think that agriculture can develop very seriously in the liberated lands, especially in the field of horticulture. Fruits are accepted in any market. Given the climate of our traditional markets, of course, no other fruit can compete with ours,” the head of state said.

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