BUSINESS

New measures of support for member states affected by Russian embargo

The European Commission will re-launch next week the measures of support for member states affected by the embargo imposed by Russia but with a new budget allocation, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Dacian Ciolos announced on Sunday at RuralFest.
“Next week we will re-launch this measure of support for agricultural producers affected by the Russian embargo, but with a new budget allocation. Here we are primarily talking about market actions meant to avoid a price collapse because of a surplus of production that came about as a result of the impossibility to export to Russia. We have suspended the measure because the initial sum of EUR 125 M was reached through the notifications forwarded by member states. Indeed, Poland has notified the most but she is also among the most affected countries,” Dacian Ciolos explained.
According to the aforementioned source, the European Commission is considering adopting other measures in this sector.
“We are also thinking about other measures of compensation but measures that will be targeted for the producers that were directly affected by the fact that they were unable to export to Russia. We have already announced that we have doubled the budget allocation for promotion on the external market, from the EUR 30 M sum provided at first for the session of promotion projects currently ongoing to EUR 60 M,” Ciolos added.
The European Commission announced on September 10 that it decided to suspend the allocation of EUR 125 M in aid for the support of European producers of fruit and perishable vegetables, against the backdrop of the restrictions imposed by Russia, because of the “disproportionately high number of requests” that came from Polish producers in particular, AFP informs.
According to a European source, this decision is motivated by “serious doubts” about the validity of the data transmitted by Poland, bearing in mind that Polish producers have requested 87 per cent of the total aid unblocked by Brussels on August 18.
The support measures announced in August concern tomatoes, carrots, pepper, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumbers, mushrooms, apples, pears, red fruits, grapes and kiwis.
The European Commission added to the EUR 125 M meant to support European producers another EUR 30 M for the promotion of European agricultural products, in order to allow them to open new export markets.
In early August, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree banning agricultural and food product imports from countries that imposed sanctions on Russia in the context of the crisis in Ukraine. The list includes meat and dairy products, as well as fruits and vegetables from the US, EU, Canada, Australia and Norway. The embargo however does not include products and foodstuffs for babies.
Agriculture Minister Daniel Constantin recently stated that Romania will not be directly affected by Russia’s decision to ban food product imports from the US and the European Union (EU) because exports were not very high, totaling around EUR 41 M in 2013.

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