ICOS plays down hopes of Russian ban being lifted

Despite some optimistic reports to the contrary, ICOS says it sees little prospect for a resolution of the Russian ban on food imports which now enters into its sixth month.

It says that some of the optimism was based on reports that authorities planned to partially lift the Russian ban on certain European agricultural goods – such as pig meat products, meal, fat, lard, potatoes and possibly some GI cheeses.

‘Inspections’ were planned by the Russian food safety authority in some European countries (not Ireland), but these have now fully stalled, ICOS goes on to say.

Allied to this, it says, the continued devaluation of the Russian rouble, as well as the continued escalation of the military conflict in the Ukraine has further undermined hope that a resolution lies anywhere on the horizon.

“In fact, EU Foreign Ministers agreed this week to extend existing sanctions against the Kremlin until September and add further names to the blacklist of individuals targeted for EU travel bans and asset freezes.”

While ICOS very much welcomes efforts by Minister Coveney to make recent bilateral efforts with Moscow, as well as continued efforts my Commissioner Hogan to help open new markets, it is clear that this international market will sadly remain closed to us in the medium term, it says.