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Russian diplomats indignant over Polish minister's remarks on Moscow's counter-sanctions

August 10, 2015, 16:57 UTC+3 WARSAW

The Polish minister of agriculture and rural development called the destruction of contraband food products in Russia a sin

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Destruction of illegally imported fruit

Destruction of illegally imported fruit

© Rosselkhoznadzor Press Office/TASS

WARSAW, August 10 /TASS/. The Russian embassy in Poland has voiced indignation over remarks by Marek Savitsky, the Polish minister of agriculture and rural development, who called the destruction of contraband food products in Russia a sin.

The minister also recalled famine, which occurred in the former Soviet Union in the 1930's, a Russian embassy source told TASS on Monday.

On August 7, Savitsky called on Russia to stop destroying food, which had been brought into the country in violation of all existing rules, the Russian embassy said.

"It can be assumed that the minister’s public remarks were designed to demonstrate that he was exerting efforts to defend the interests of Polish food producers interested in gaining access to the Russian market," the embassy went on to say.

"However, remarks made in a manner which is insulting for the Russian side are unlikely to contribute to that. Any parallels drawn between the current situation and the famine that struck the Soviet Union in the 1930s are absolutely inappropriate and can at least arouse bewilderment," the Russian embassy stressed.

"Instead of protecting the interests of those who is violating the law by trying to smuggle goods into Russia bypassing the existing rules, the minister should address his calls to the authors of the anti-Russian sanctions, including his own government," the Russian diplomats said.

"As it is known, Russia stopped imports from the EU countries, including Poland, in retaliation to the anti-Russian sanctions, which are senseless and illegal and which certainly do not help achieving the assigned tasks but are damaging all the sides," the Russian embassy in Poland said in its statement.

About 350 tons of banned food imports were destroyed in Russia in the first two days of the campaign to dispose of sanctioned food products smuggled into Russia.

The initiative to take measures for destroying imported foods from Russia’s list of sanctioned products was put forward on July 24 by Agriculture Minister Alexander Tkachyov at a meeting held by the Russian president with government members. Vladimir Putin supported this initiative. It was announced on July 29 that the Russian president had signed a decree on destroying from August 6 the imported foodstuffs covered by Russia’s embargo imposed as a countermeasure to western sanctions against Moscow over its stance on the developments in neighboring Ukraine.


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