EU moves to protect food producers hit by Russian embargo

GMT 21:03 2014 Thursday ,14 August

Arab Today, arab today EU moves to protect food producers hit by Russian embargo

Vegetables are on display at a market
Brussels - AFP

The European Commission said Thursday it would take exceptional measures to support growers in the EU affected by Russia's ban on Western food products.
The Russian embargo, announced earlier this month, came in retaliation to US and European sanctions over Moscow's alleged role in separatist violence in eastern Ukraine.
EU Agricultural Commissioner Dacian Ciolos said the measures would be unveiled "early next week" and would aim to support sellers of fruit and vegetables that are "clearly in trouble".
Included in the package will be compensation for producers of cucumbers, cauliflowers, peppers, mushrooms and certain types of tomatoes, according to an EU source.
"Plan A is to find alternative markets" to Russia, the EU source said.
An "enhanced market surveillance mechanism" will also be established to monitor the impact of the Russian embargo on agricultural exports, the Commission said in a statement.
The package of measures will be financed by a reserve fund of more than €420 million ($560 million) available to the EU to deal with crises in agricultural markets.
The Russian ban on imports of meats, fruits and vegetables, fish, and dairy products from the European Union, the United States, Australia, Canada and Norway is set to last for a year.
Meanwhile, a senior EU official said the 28-member bloc is preparing to apply diplomatic pressure to prevent other countries stepping in and trying to grab the Russian markets closed to its producers, citing potential rivals in Brazil and Egypt.
The EU measures follow a decision on Monday to prop up the hard-hit peach market already suffering due to a poor season.
In 2013, exports of European agricultural products to Russia amounted to 11.8 billion euros, or 9.9 percent of total exports, and 1.2 billion euros for meat.


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