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As of November 26, 2015 Russia has started imposing trade restrictions on Turkey. Specifically, as announced by Russian media, Prime Minister Medvedev has requested the Government to prepare within the next 2 calendar days a step list of actions that should be undertaken against Turkey. Most likely, those measures will than be shaped into a President’s Ordinance or a Governmental Decree. Based on preliminary comments by Russian public officials, it is highly likely that the Turkish-origin food products would be completely embargoed without validity term limitation of this measure, and there would be a complete ban on the provision of services by Turkish companies on the Russian market. Russia also intends to stop discussions on provision of preferential trade regime for Turkey and to freeze mutual investment projects.

It has also been announced by the Russian customs authorities that all goods imported from Turkey are subject to customs inspection with high scrutiny. Among other, in that context the Russian customs officers will now physically check all the imported shipments. Also, local Russian retail chains have already started refusing to distribute goods of Turkish origin. The Russian authorities responsible for the protection of consumers’ rights (Rospotrebnadzor) have started quality and safety checks of goods originating from Turkey and have already announced about a number of goods with inconsistent quality (distribution of such goods will likely be suspended).

Lastly, Turkish citizens travelling to Russia now claim that they are subject to additional attention of the Russian customs and migration authorities and lengthy identity verification procedures. The Turkish embassy in Russia also reports that around 30 Turkish citizens have already been disallowed entry into Russia at all.


Alexander Bychkov is a partner in Baker McKenzie's Moscow office. Alexander Bychkov is the co-head of the Firm’s CIS Tax Practice Group and the head of the CIS International Trade and Customs group, which includes professionals working in the Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kyiv and Almaty offices. In addition, he is a member of the Firm’s Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare group. Since 2006 Mr. Bychkov has been consistently recognized as one of the leading professionals in the tax field within Russia and across the CIS. His practice is recognized by Chambers and International Tax Review.

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