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Monday, 01 September 2014

Question to the European Commission regarding sanctions and bans on exports to Russia and the harmful effect on Croatia

Order No 560 of 6 August 2014 implementing specific special economic measures to safeguard the security of the Russian Federation, whereby the Russian Government has imposed a one-year ban on imports of agricultural products, commodities, and foodstuffs from the US, the EU, Canada, Australia, and Norway, will inflict severe financial damage on Croatian farmers and exporters.


On 20 August the Russian Government adopted a decision excluding individual products from the list of agricultural produce and foodstuffs that may not be imported. The decision does not, however, apply to citrus fruits, a fact which poses a direct threat to the survival of more than 20 000 mandarin-growers living in the Neretva valley and is thus indicative of the harm that the sanctions will do.


The Commission has announced a package of intervention measures and support, amounting to EUR 125 million, for the fruit and vegetable sector, which cannot make use of longer-term storage possibilities. Surprisingly, however, the package has made no provision for citrus fruits.


Given that the mandarin crop is expected to be large and difficult to sell, and that the Commission has as yet not provided for financial compensation where citrus fruits are concerned, can Croatian farmers and exporters and Neretva valley orange producers count on the Commission for financial support and help as they seek alternative markets offering an appropriate purchase price?

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