MOSCOW, August 6. /TASS/. Import of foods will decline at 2015 year-end from $45 bln to $25 bln, Russian Minister of Agriculture Alexander Tkachev said on Thursday.
"We imported foods in the amount of $45 bln in 2013-2014 alone. Think of it, it is a vast potential. This figure has currently dropped to $25 bln, that is, we slashed the import twofold. We substitute it by domestic products," Tkachev said.
The structure of import has changed at the same time, the minister said. "We substituted the import not merely through domestic agricultural producers that boosted production volumes and took vacated niches, but also on the account of supplies from CIS states, Latin America and Asia," Tkachev said.
"In terms of meat products we substituted products from Brazil, Belarus, Paraguay and Argentina for supplies from the European Union, the United States and Australia," the minister said. Norwegian and European fish was substituted by products from Iceland, China, Chile and Faroes. Belarus nearly completely substituted European import in terms of milk.
Measures undertaken by the government make it possible for the Russian agribusiness to maintain growth of 3.7%, the minister said. Production of foods rose 3.3%. Agriculture remains the only sector of the Russian economy maintaining the stable growth in the first half of 2015.