“There is no need for us to raise prices, the only thing that matters is to be present on the Russian market with our product. The planned amounts of cheese supplies in August-December is about 70,000 tonnes,” Zayats said, adding that Belarus is now reviewing its goods range and is ready to change business of some dairy producers.
He also said the country is ready to supply over 1 million tonnes of potatoes, over 200,000 tonnes of vegetables, over 100,000 tonnes of flour and increase meat supplies.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Dmitry Mironchik said in a statement Belarus is taking all steps to prevent food transit to Russia from the countries on which it imposed a food import ban.
Belarus plans to increase dairy product exports to Russia by nearly 150%, the country's Agriculture Minister Leonid Zayats said on Thursday, offering prospective additional volumes to replace Western imports blocked in response to the West's Ukraine-related sanctions.
About 70,000 tonnes of Belarusian cheese will reach the Russian market between August and December, said Zayats, visiting Russia's southern city of Astrakhan.
The republic aimed to provide Russia with more than one million tonnes of potatoes, over 200,000 tonnes of vegetables and over 100,000 tonnes of flour alongside plans to double meat supplies. “Belarus considers its presence on the Russian market to be essential,” the minister added.
Russia banned imports of meat, fish, dairy, fruit and vegetables from the United States, the 28-nation European Union, Australia, Canada and Norway for 12 months at the beginning of August, retaliating for Western sanctions over the crisis in Ukraine.
Since then, Russia has been in talks with Latin and South American countries, the Middle East and Asia to replace prohibited produce.