Poland will put forward a motion to the European Comission to use European Union (EU) funds to compensate losses suffered by firms hit by the Russian pork meat import ban, Agriculture Minister Stanislaw Kalemba said on Wednesday.
"We don't know how long the embargo will continue. We have started to estimate losses sustained by Polish firms," he told Polish Radio Three.
"We have talked with Brussels, with concrete people, there are reserve funds, we will certainly motion for compensation, damages for firms which have lost profits," Kalemba explained. He admitted that money from the EU will not fully cover the losses.
Russia introduced a ban on pork imports from the entire EU after cases of African swine fever were detected in Lithuania.
Kalemba emphasized that Polish pork was safe. He vowed his personal commitment to preventing the disease from entering Poland.
Russia was the second biggest importer of Polish food. The agriculture minister said that Poland wanted to continue good cooperation. Polish pork exports to Russia totalled 100 million euros (135 million U.S. dollars) in 2013.
Kalemba said he talked with EU administration on the Russian ban on Wednesday. "The EU position is clear - Russian restrictions have gone too far given the present situation," he said.
Poland has suggested that based on provisions on regionalisation, the export ban should apply to Lithuania only.
Poland and the EU were against including Poland in the region affected by a possible export ban, Kalemba added.