As we all know, the authorities of the Russian Federation imposed a food embargo on August 7th, 2014. Initially, the embargo affected the EU, the USA, Australia, Canada and Norway. Since August 2015, Albania, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Montenegro were included in this list, and since early 2016 Ukraine was also included. The ban affects a wide range of goods: meat and dairy products, fish, vegetables, fruit, dried fruit and nuts, and salt.
Two weeks ago, the substitute Director of the Federal Customs Service (FCS), Mr Ruslan Davydov, suggested that the Ministry of Agriculture replaced the list of specific banned products by the list of complete food groups, as published by the Ministry of Agriculture of Spain in its Foreign News Gazette.
The Federal Customs Service justified this measure due to the need to exclude the import of banned products into the Russian Federation by declaring them with the “coverage products” codes. Due to this initiative, Spanish olives, Latvian preserved smoked sprat and some kinds of ham, as well as food ingredients were in danger of being banned.
The Ministry of Agriculture deemed that the FCS's proposal was inappropriate. This was confirmed in the minutes of the meeting held last week by Mr Maxim Titov, Director of the Department for the Regulation of the Agroindustrial Sector Markets, that was attended by the managers of the most important associations in this sector: the National Meat Association, the Fishing Union, The Juice Producer's Union, etc.
The Ministry of Agriculture admits that the FCS's proposal causes risks to the Russian producers and processors, and that it also threatens the stability of the supply of Russian food to the population, as shown in the minutes of the meeting. Likewise, it was pointed out that this matter requires a more detailed study together with the agricultural producers and the representatives of the sectoral community.
Thursday, March 7th, 2019/ Foreign News-MAPA/ Spain.