A verbal skirmish broke out between Minsk and Moscow over the supply of Belarusian products to the Russian market. Naviny.by tries to understand this question.
The first to speak on this topic was Alexander Lukashenko.
On September 20, at a meeting with the State Secretary of the Belarus-Russia Union State, Grigory Rapota, he drew attention to the fact that some Belarusian goods, especially foodstuffs, are blocked during deliveries to Russia.
“In Russia, for some reason, they are of poor quality. But it is clear: when we deliver quality goods and at reasonable prices to Russia, we beat the pockets of oligarchs from agriculture in Russia. They put pressure on the government (there are connections, you know as well as me, which ones), and the government gives a command of various kinds of officials, from Rosselkhoznadzor and so on. They have three companies open for deliveries, five are closing, five are opening, six are then closing. There is undisguised pressure, ”complained the head of Belarus.
In response, the head of the Rosselkhoznadzor, Sergei Dankvert, said that there was no blocking of imports of Belarusian products to Russia.
“The supply data is the best argument, they show that in less than this year - from January 1 to September XNUM –– Belarusian suppliers of basic foodstuffs and some types of agricultural products have already covered the annual 18 figures of the year,” said Sergey Dankvert.
He noted that in the 2015, Belarusian beef supplies amounted to 96,8 thousand tons, and this year already 102 thousand tons. The import of feed and feed additives this year amounted to 18,1 thousand tons compared to 9,5 thousand tons for the entire 2015 year.
The import of milk and dairy products from Belarus for an incomplete 2016 year increased to 619 thousand tons from 484 thousand tons for the entire 2015 year. And the supply of fish amounted to 46,5 thousand tons and 37,5 thousand tons, respectively.
“And at the same time one should take into account that part of the Belarusian products imported into the Russian Federation did not pass the checkpoints. With this in mind, the volume of deliveries can be increased by another ten percent. With such data, it is rather difficult to say that the Belarusian foodstuffs do not have the most favored treatment in Russia, ”said Sergey Dankvert.
In the Ministry of Agriculture and Food of Belarus, the figures voiced by the Rosselkhoznadzor were called a “free” attitude to statistical data.
“The figures given by the Rosselkhoznadzor are not true. Our country delivered to the Russian market last year not beef 96,8 thousand tons, and 134,1 thousand tons, dairy products 1014 thousand tons, not 484 thousand. And so on every position, ”- said in a comment for Naviny.by General Directorate of Foreign Economic Activity of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, Alexey Bogdanov.
The ministry confirms information on increasing the supply of certain types of products to the Russian market this year.
“Regarding the growth of Belarusian exports, it is a real truth. This year, as in the past, we are increasing the production of meat and dairy products, respectively, and we can increase export deliveries. In particular, for 7 months of the current year, beef was delivered to Russia by 16,6 thousand tons more, pork - by 2,8 thousand tons, cheese and cottage cheese - by 22 thousand tons. But we would have delivered much more products that are in demand on the market of the Russian Federation if there were no restrictions, ”says Alexey Bogdanov.
According to him, at present, 42 Belarusian enterprises are under various restrictions from the Rosselkhoznadzor, ranging from the meat and dairy industry to fodder production.
In particular, from August 5 there are temporary restrictions on the supply of products of CJSC "Ekomol Agro". Since 13 August, temporary restrictions have been imposed on the supply of products of the Rogachev dairy and canning plant and Kalinkovichi dairy plant.
Since 18 August, there are temporary restrictions on the supply of products of SOOO “Belsyr”, LLC “Biocom”, GP “Milk Hotel” and OJSC “Polotsk Dairy Plant”. Starting from August 19, deliveries of Lepel milk-canning factory and Berezovsky cheese-making factory are temporarily limited.
“If a part of enterprises is closed, isn’t this a limit ?!” said Alexey Bogdanov.
It should be noted that in recent years, Belarusian meat and dairy enterprises regularly experience difficulties in supplying their products to the Russian market. Most often, problems with the export of products coincide in time with crisis phenomena in the political relations between Minsk and Moscow.
The scenario of the new “milk war” is very similar to the similar conflict of mid-year 2009, when barriers to Belarusian products in Russia appeared against the background of Minsk’s reluctance to pay for gas at a contract price.
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