Irish exports to Russia will be affected by Russia’s latest ban on EU food products. The ban has been announced to include all beef, pork, poultry, fish, dairy, cheese and vegetables from the EU and other countries.
The move is seen as President Vladimir Putin’s response to the latest round of penalties imposed by the US and the EU on Russia over its actions in Ukraine. The ban has also been imposed against Australia, Canada and the US.
The Kremlin has said Mr Putin ordered his government to come up with a list of goods to be banned for imports into Russia for one year. The banned list does not include alcohol.
Ireland’s agricultural exports to Russia in 2013 were worth €235m. Russia’s decision to impose trade sanctions on EU countries is not a surprise according to the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney.
Speaking on Newstalk this morning the Minister stated that recent months have seen Russia become more restrictive with imports and this is a further tightening of that. He said: “We should not be surprised by this. When you target as big a country as Russia with trade sanctions you have to expect a back lash of that and that’s what we are getting.
“This is about trying to get a non-military solution to what is a tragic situation in Ukraine at the moment. That’s why the EU has increased the level of sanctions and Russia now responding to that.
“The key issues we think will be from an EU point of view will be fruit and veg and certain dairy products and possibly certain meat products. We have difficulties with pig meat and fats and offals and dairy powder is an issue as well.”
He said that from an Irish point of view farmers and food companies are concerned. “We do have a significant trade with Russia. Exports to Russia have been steadily growing year on year and this is a big backward step for us.”