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Russian sanctions give Serbia unique chance — agriculture minister

August 21, 2014, 10:00 UTC+3 BELGRADE
On August 6, Russia imposed a one-year ban on imports of beef, pork, poultry, fish, cheeses, fruit, vegetables and dairy products from Australia, Canada, the EU, the United States and Norway
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© ITAR-TASS/Vladimir Smirnov

BELGRADE, August 21. /ITAR-TASS/. An opportunity to step up exports of agricultural and food products to Russia is “a unique chance Serbia should use if it is able to meet Russia’s high standards and regulations", the Serbian agriculture and environmental protection minister said.

“The Russian side is interested in all our agricultural and food products, particularly meat, milk, fruit and vegetables. We can export as much cheese as we can produce,” Snezana Bogosavljevic-Boskovic told journalists, adding that such exports would not raise Serbian domestic market prices.

The minister said her country will “do everything possible to promote production at small enterprises as well, which is seen as a big chance by many citizens and politicians".

Sanctions against Russia

Russian officials and companies came under Western sanctions, including visa bans and asset freezes, after Russia incorporated Crimea in mid-March because the West and Kiev refused to recognize Crimea’s reunification with Russia despite Moscow’s explanations that it was legal.

Moscow warned the West that the language of sanctions will have a boomerang effect.

The West announced new sectoral sanctions against Russia in late July over Moscow’s position on the Ukrainian events, in particular, what the West claimed was Moscow’s alleged involvement in mass protests in Ukraine’s war-torn south-east.

Russia's imports ban

In response, Russia imposed on August 6 a one-year ban on imports of beef, pork, poultry, fish, cheeses, fruit, vegetables and dairy products from Australia, Canada, the EU, the United States and Norway.

The banned products list 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, clams and other water invertebrates, milk and dairy products, vegetables, edible roots and tuber crops.

The list also contains fruit 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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