Imports of agricultural and livestock products from Russia should be banned in the entire EU - Zile

  • 2024-03-08
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Imports of agricultural and livestock products from Russia should be banned in the entire European Union, believes European Parliament member Roberts Zile (National Alliance).

According the MEP's advisor Karlis Bumeisters, Zile sent a letter calling for a ban on imports of Russian agricultural products, signed by 38 MEPs, to the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis (New Unity) and Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski on Monday, March 4. The letter has also been sent to all European Parliament members. The letter has been signed by MEPs from Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, as well as Czech Republic, Belgium, Slovakia, Romania, Finland, Sweden and France.

Zile points out that, seeing how Latvia and the other Baltic countries are individually introducing restrictions on Russian agricultural products, it is clear that such restrictions must be adopted at the European level. The fact that Russian grain imports present a problem is also clearly demonstrated by farmers' protests in several EU countries.

Russian grain is driving down grain prices on the EU market and harming EU grain producers. Russian grain also competes with Ukrainian grain, both in the EU and globally. Russia is using food as a weapon, sabotaging the Black Sea Grain Initiative, stealing and reselling Ukrainian grain, damaging Ukraine's export infrastructure and exacerbating global food insecurity, explains Zile.

In the first ten months of 2023, EU member countries imported EUR 2.2 billion worth of food and agricultural products from Russia. By buying Russian grain, Europeans are directly and indirectly supporting Russia's criminal regime and empowering Russia to continue its brutal war in Ukraine, said Zile.

"We are trying to address the situation in the EP, but we also expect appropriate action and proposals from the European Commission. Especially from von der Leyen, who has been nominated to continue as the Commission's President for the next term. Commissioner Dombrovskis is in charge of the EU's external trade, and we are looking forward for what he has to say," said Zile.

As reported, the ban on imports of a number of agricultural and animal feed products from Russia and Belarus into Latvia enters into force on Friday.

The Agriculture Ministry's regulation, supported by the government on Tuesday, stipulates a ban on imports of Russian and Belarusian potatoes, tomatoes, various types of onions, garlic, brassicas, lettuce, carrots, turnips, beetroots, oats, celery, radishes and similar root vegetables, cucumbers and gherkins, legumes and other fresh vegetables.

Latvia will also no longer import Russian and Belarusian nuts, bananas, dates, figs, pineapples, avocados, citrus fruits, melons, pears, quinces, apricots, cherries, peaches, plums and blueberries, including frozen, canned and dried nut and fruit products.

Wheat and mixtures of wheat, rye, barley, oats, maize, rice, buckwheat and other cereals will also not be imported from Russia and Belarus.

Imports of Russian and Belarusian meat and offal products, fish and crustaceans, mollusks, bran, starch residues, sugar cane bagasse, oil cakes of soya beans, peanut oil, cottonseed, linseed, rapeseed, coconuts or palm nuts will also banned.

Pomace, grape materials and byproducts used in animal feed will also not be imported in Latvia from Russia and Belarus.