Poland seeks compensation for Russian ban on fruit
August 1, 2014
Agriculture Minister Marek Sawicki has appealed to the European Commission to compensate Poland after Russia decided to ban Polish fruit and vegetable imports -- a move Warsaw says was retaliation for EU sanctions against Moscow.
The Polish agriculture ministry said the country’s losses could total 500 million euros.
Polish media reported that Moscow could also be preparing to ban beef and poultry imports from Poland, after Russian officials claimed they had found dangerous bacteria in such meat.
Citing what it said were sanitary reasons, Russia announced its fruit and vegetable ban Wednesday, a day after the EU and United States imposed a range of economic sanctions against Moscow over its role in the Ukraine conflict.
Sawicki slammed the Russian embargo, which comes into force on Friday, “as political repression in response to the restrictions imposed by the European Union against Russia."
The Polish agriculture ministry said Sawicki would raise the issue of compensation for Poland during talks Friday with European Commission and European Parliament officials.
Sawicki "wants to prevent a situation in which Polish vegetable and fruit growers are the main victims of EU and US economic restrictions against Russia,” the Polish agriculture ministry said in a statement.
According to the ministry, Poland exported over 804,000 tons of fruit and vegetables worth almost 336 million euros to Russia last year. The Russian market accounts for some 7% of Poland's food exports. Apples account for almost three-quarters of the total volume of fruit produced in Poland.