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Serbia producers get big chance as Russia orders retaliatory sanctions

August 07, 2014, 20:49 UTC+3 BELGRADE
Last year 768 Serbian companies were exporting their products to Russia
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BELGRADE, August 07. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s response to Western sanctions opens “vast prospects” for exports from Serbia, which has not joined sanctions against Russia over Ukraine, the president of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce and Industry said on Thursday.

“The Russian market is open for supplies, first of all plums and other agricultural products, as well as dairy products and confectionery,” Zelijko Sertic said, adding that the Chamber had already sent inquiries to all municipalities to make up the list of companies that could supply products to the Russian market.

He warned possible exporters that the Russian market “differs a lot at present from the way it used to be. The Russian market is more complex nowadays, demands are more concrete and high, while control of inspection services is much stricter than before,” he said.

Sertic said last year 768 Serbian companies were exporting their products to Russia, and all of them have received instructions on demands of Russian sanitary control agencies to vegetables and fruit.

He said Russia’s retaliatory sanctions against the West were offering vast possibilities to Serbia’s agricultural sector, as “it is obvious that Russia will need imports of new products in place of earlier imports”.

Apart from dried plum, he also mentioned exports of meat and meat products, the quotas on which were not exhausted. “The development of livestock breeding is one of priority directions in Serbia, as well as the growing of such cultures as plums, which used to be Serbia’s strong point,” Sertic said. He added, however, that plum crop this year was insufficient even for the production of domestic rakia (fruit vodka).

“The Russian market is also open for all dairy products, cheese based on vegetable fats, confectionery, a wide range of agricultural products and food, but conditions for us are the same as for all the others,” he said.

President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday signed a decree on countermeasures to Western sanctions, which prohibits or restricts, for one year, the import of certain kinds of agricultural products, raw materials and food originating in a country that has imposed economic sanctions against Russian companies and (or) individuals or has joined such sanctions.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev announced on Thursday that the Russian government imposed a one-year ban on imports of beef, pork, poultry, fish, cheeses, fruit, vegetables and dairy products from Australia, Canada, the European Union, the United States and Norway.

The list of the banned products includes cattle meat (fresh, chilled and refrigerated), pork (fresh, chilled and refrigerated), poultry meat and all poultry edible by-products, salted meat, pickled meat, dried meat, smoked meat, fish and shell fish, clams and other water invertebrates, milk and dairy products, vegetables, edible roots and tuber crops, fruits and nuts, sausage and analogous meat products, meat by-products or blood, as well as products made of them, ready-to-eat products including cheeses and cottage-cheese based on vegetable fats.

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