E.U. discusses impact of Russian sanctions

by World Grain Staff
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BRUSSELS, BELGIUM — The European Commission met on Aug. 14 to discuss the potential impact of Russian sanctions announced last week on imports of certain agricultural products. 

Commissioner Dacian CioloČ™ said he will release a market stabilization measure targeting perishable fruit and vegetable products. In addition, he announced a reinforced market monitoring mechanism to which all member states will contribute. He said the Russian ban requires faster and better access to market data, sector by sector. 

“Meetings with member states will take place on a weekly basis, for a period as long as necessary,” CioloČ™ said. “My message is again clear: I am prepared to propose E.U.-wide measures as and when needed. Producers from across the E.U. can be reassured. We are following every sector and every market and as material risks emerge, I will act. Through the reformed Common Agriculture Policy we have the budgetary and legal instruments for European action together with the member states; market confidence through European solidarity is the overriding objective."

DG AGRI presented its initial analysis about traditional trade patterns, the current market situation in different sectors, potential alternative sales outlets, and therefore the potential impact of these measures in broad terms. 

However, the commission still needs to receive the most up-to-date information to fully assess the market situation in most sectors, and therefore called on member states to provide the latest detailed market data. Moreover, in order to follow the evolution of the situation as closely as possible, the commission proposed that there should be weekly meetings with the member states for the coming months in order to monitor and discuss the situation of all sectors that are affected, in addition to the permanent ongoing written communication.

The commission presented a preliminary analysis of the main sectors included by the Russian measures – fruit, vegetables, dairy and meat products. Member states also presented certain figures and commented on the sectors most likely to be worst affected.

The meeting agreed that the situation is the most urgent for certain perishable vegetables hit by the ban, where the season has already begun and a key export market has suddenly disappeared with no immediate prospect of an obvious alternative. 

Based on the new information received today from the member states, the commission confirmed that it would come forward with appropriate new measures at the beginning of next week. Further measures targeting anima products are being considered. Such measures would be put forward under the additional flexibility mandated to the commission in last year’s CAP reform.

The Commission announced its intention to finalize a full analysis of the potential impact of the Russian sanctions on the E.U. sectors concerned – together with an assessment of the potential policy responses – as soon as possible. This will be presented to member states and the European Parliament in order to facilitate further political discussions on the subject.

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