Food anti-sanctions had a serious impact on Belgium, and numbers have specific, stated trade representative of Russian Federation in Belgium Anatoly Gorshkov. He noted that Belgium in 2014 lost 5.5 per cent of trade in agriculture.
MOSCOW, 11 Nov. Food embargo Russia imposed in response to European sanctions against Russia has forced the EU countries to compete with each other, said in an interview with trade representative of Russian Federation in Belgium Anatoly Gorshkov.
“Of course, food anti-sanctions had a serious impact on Belgium, and the numbers are certain. Farmers, by their own estimates, in 2014, lost 5.5 per cent of trade in agriculture. If presenceonly in the last year total exports to Russia amounted to 5 billion euros, in absolute terms in 2014 Belgium has lost approximately 500 million euros as a consequence of our response,” — said the trade representative.
Gorshkov added that “this figure (500 million euros — approx. ed.) — about 10 percent of the total exports of Belgium to Russia”.
According to him, the authorities of Belgium and other European States adopted a number of measures, in particular, has allocated subsidies to agricultural producers, however, it is not enough. “Everyone recognizes that this is a drop in the ocean. The producers themselves are looking for new markets, but they find it difficult. In search of alternative markets for agricultural products, European countries began to compete among themselves — and this within a single system of the EU”, — said the trade representative.
“This is for them a very unpleasant thing that they always tried to avoid” — said Gorshkov.
Relations between Russia and the West deteriorated in connection with the situation in Ukraine. At the end of July 2014, the EU and the USA from the point of sanctions against certain individuals and companies have moved to measures against entire sectors of the Russian economy, in particular the defense industry and high technologies.
The foreign Ministers of the EU countries on 22 June had extended economic sanctions against Russia until 31 January 2016, approving the relevant amendments to the EU sectoral restrictive measures against Russia. The decision came into force on 23 June. Russia for its part in the summer of 2015 grocery extended the embargo for another year — until 8 August 2016.