Minister: Russia's embargo may force EU to help producers

ČTK Aktuálně.cz ČTK, Aktuálně.cz, Ivan Eckhardt
7. 8. 2014 10:03
Czech agricultural exports to Russia during first six months of 2014 were worth CZK 1.5 billion (EUR 54 million)
Foto: Jan Barek

Prague - The ban or limitation on exports of agricultural products to Russia may cause significant problems to some Czech producers as well as a drop in agricultural prices in the EU market, said Czech Agriculture Minister Marian Jurecka and Agrarian Chamber chairman Jan Veleba. A price drop in the EU would particularly hit Czech fruit producers.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree earlier this week banning the import of agricultural products from the countries that had imposed economic sanctions against Russia. The decree, expected to be in force for one year, does not name individual countries, but it is assumed that the Czech Republic, an EU member state, is among them.

A number of EU members, such as Germany or Poland, massively export agricultural products to Russia. “These countries will have to sell the products somewhere, and the first place they will go to is, of course, the European Union's market,” said Veleba. Russia's embargo, he says, will cause overpressure in the EU market and, consequently, a drop in agricultural prices. “This will definitely happen to fruit products, which are undergoing a crisis in the EU even without Russia's sanctions,” he said.

“If European Union countries cannot export their goods to Russia, then these goods will create overpressure in the EU market and there may be a significant drop in the prices of some commodities,” Minister Jurecka told the state-run Czech Television.

The minister also said that in addition to individual European countries handling the situation on the national level, the European Commission's working committees and the Council of the EU should address the issue too. “If this measure of President Putin has a really strong negative effect on the European Union's market, then we will have to find some strong intervention mechanism to help agricultural and fruit producers,” said Jurecka.

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Zdroj: ČTK
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