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Baltic farmers urge Brussels to take measures following Russia’s sanctions

  • 2014-08-22
  • From wire reports, RIGA

(photo: twitter)

Baltic farmers will turn to the European Commission with calls for a solution to Russia's food embargo, LETA reports. 

Brussels will be requested to nullify fines for exceeding European milk quotas, review dairy intervention prices and increase export subsidies, leaders of the agricultural organizations in the Baltic States decided in a meeting today.

Andriejus Stancikas, Chairman of the Chamber of Agriculture of Lithuania said Lithuania's agriculture industry has suffered losses of around 1 billion euros due to Russia's sanctions, the majority of which concerns dairy farming.

"Brussels must immediately make a decision on equal support," said Stancikas.

"At the moment, we only hear talks about how the Italian tomato and peach producers will be compensated, while the Baltic States are forgotten. At the same time, we are like a buffer zone between Russia and Europe, and we are suffering the most in this war by taking the first blow. We have not exceeded our milk quotas yet, however, it will be inevitable. Thus, Brussels must nullify the potential million euros worth of fines."

The head of the Lithuanian cooperative Kooperacijos kelias Jonas Kuzminskas admitted Lithuania's industry is currently forced to terminate contracts with Latvian and Estonian farmers due to overproduction.

"Milk procurement prices have dropped down to 15-18 euro cents per kilogram. No one is getting rid of their livestock yet, however, bankruptcies will follow, as a lot of farms owe large amounts of money to banks," Kuzminskas said.