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EU to pay farmers hit by Russian embargo

PR dla Zagranicy
Peter Gentle 19.08.2014 07:36
The EU has announced 125 million euro in compensation for farmers from Poland, Lithuania and other producers hit by Russia's food import ban.

photo - Glow Images/East News

"All farmers of the concerned products […] will be eligible to take up these market support measures where they see fit," Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Ciolos has said in a statement, after Russia retaliated against EU sanctions, imposed for Moscow's role in the conflict in Ukraine, by imposing a ban on food exports from the EU.

The embargo has hit Polish and Lithuanian farmers the hardest, with exports of Polish fruit and vegetables to Russia amounting to around 500 million euro in 2013.

On Tuesday, Poland's minister of agriculture Marek Sawicki goes to Brussels to discuss the Russian embargo.

Russian consumers, however, depend on imports of fruit, vegetables and other food products.

But Russia's prime minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Monday that a rise in prices in the shops was not inevitable as the ban on EU food imports could stimulate “more competition” on the Russian market.

He said that at present, Russian consumers were presented with "a situation where all the apples, for example, come from Poland or some other products - say fish is an example - all from Norway".

The EU compensation payments will effectively pay farmers hit by the Russian embargo to destroy food.

“This is a measure aimed at reducing the level of supply so the prices don't drop to crisis levels," said European Commission spokesman Roger Waite.

The emergency assistance will take effect immediately and run until November. (pg)

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