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Estonian farmers demand €7 mln from government to compensate losses from Russian food ban

August 03, 2015, 0:03 UTC+3 TALLINN

On Monday, farmers plan to issue an open letter to the authorities demanding urgent budgetary support

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TALLINN, August 3. /TASS/. Estonia’s Dairy Union will demand a financial assistance of seven million euro from the government to compensate for the losses the country’s farmers are sustaining from the Russian sanctions, the national broadcaster said on Sunday.

"In February, the European Commission paid 6.9 million euro to Estonian farmers as a crisis subsidy. The European Union has agreed that the government will pay a similar sum from its budget," Dairy Union’s president Jaanus Murakas said. He reminded that the country’s politicians had promised financial support to farmers ahead of the parliamentary elections in March. "The elections are over but nothing has been done," he said.

On Monday, farmers plan to issue an open letter to the authorities demanding urgent budgetary support.

Currently, procurement prices for milk in Estonia have dropped to the lowest-ever level of 21-23 euro cents per one litre. "It is a razor edge. It will be followed by slaughter of livestock and a series of bankruptcies," the Union said, blaming the crisis on reciprocal sanctions of the European Union and Russia, and on the abandonment of milk quotas in the European Union.

On August 6, 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered to ban or restrict for a term of one year the imports of agricultural produce, raw materials and foodstuffs from countries that joined the economic sanctions against Russia over its stance on Ukraine.

On the following day, Russia imposed a package of measures to respond to economic sanctions from the United States, Australia, Canada, the European Union and Norway. Thus, Russia banned for a term of one year the imports of fruit, vegetables, milk and dairy products from these countries. Later on, Russia imposed restrictions on food imports from Belarus and Serbia to prevent re-export of banned European products. On May 1, 2015, Russia banned peanut imports and on May 26 - live chicken imports from the United States. On June 4, imports of canned fish from Latvia and Estonia were banned.

On June 24, 2015, Putin signed a decree extending the food ban till August 5, 2016.

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