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EU leaders discuss impact of Russia food sanctions

Aug 15, 2014
From wire reports, VILNIUS

EU leaders discuss impact of Russia food sanctions
Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner Dacian Ciolos (photo: twitter)

European Commission leaders have held talks over the impact of Russia's recent food sanctions.

Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner Dacian Ciolos told member states that certain measures were to be put in place in order to tackle the issue.

"I will come forward with the next market stabilization measure, targeting a number of perishable fruit and vegetable products which are now clearly in difficulty," said Mr Ciolos, addressing the various member states.

"This action will be proportionate and cost effective. Secondly, this exceptional situation we face as a result of Russia's ban requires faster and better access to market data, sector by sector.

"That is why we are putting in place as of today a reinforced market monitoring mechanism to which all member states will contribute. Meetings with member states will take place on a weekly basis, for a period as long as necessary."

The Commission yesterday presented a preliminary analysis of the main sectors included by the Russian measures - fruit, vegetables, dairy and meat products. Member states also presented certain figures and commented on the sectors most likely to be worst affected.

The meeting agreed that the situation is the most urgent for certain perishable vegetables hit by the ban, where the season has already begun and a key export market has suddenly disappeared with no immediate prospect of an obvious alternative.

Based on the new information received yesterday from the member states, the Commission confirmed that it would come forward with appropriate new measures at the beginning of next week. Further measures targeting animals products are being considered.

The Commission announced its intention to finalize a full analysis of the potential impact of the Russian sanctions on the EU sectors concerned - together with an assessment of the potential policy responses - as soon as possible. This will be presented to member states and the European Parliament in order to facilitate further political discussions on the subject.

A recent International Monetary Fund (IMF) revealed the Baltic states would be the worst affected by Russia food sanctions due to its close proximity to the region.

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