Russia-Turkey trade contracted 25% in 2015

© Mustafa Ozer
Trade turnover between Russia and Turkey fell to $23 billion last year and will continue to fall in the future, according to Russia's Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov.

Karlov added that trade between Moscow and Ankara this year is continuing to slide.

"In January, the volume of Turkish exports to Russia fell by two-thirds, and there is also the so-called invisible exports - construction, tourism, transport - which amounted to $15 billion annually, including about $4.5 billion in tourism. These indicators will also fall sharply, as Turkey will miss millions of Russian tourists," said the Ambassador.

“Antalya and neighboring provinces will suffer the biggest damage from the current state of our relationship. On the one hand, it is a center of tourism, and on the other, the region has been a major supplier of agricultural products to Russia…Turkish businessmen are very well-educated people and understand why they lost contracts in Russia, and with them billions of dollars,” Karlov added.

The deterioration of Russian-Turkish relations has forced the Turkish owners of banks in Russia to consider reducing their presence or even withdrawing from the market. According to business daily Kommersant, the largest bank with Turkish capital in the country, Credit Europe Bank, has been put up for sale.

Relations between Russia and Turkey have been in crisis since November 24 last year, when a Turkish fighter jet shot down a Russian warplane in Syria. Russian President Vladimir Putin called the incident a "stab in the back" and signed a decree on economic measures against Turkey, which includes a ban on agricultural products and the hiring of Turkish nationals.