Accusations made by the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance of Russia (Rosselkhoznadzor), which believes Belarus re-exports tomatoes, are groundless, Belarusian Agriculture and Food Minister Leonid Zayats declared.
The official reminded that the Russian agency already inspected gardens, farms, and storage facilities in Belarus at the beginning of the year.
“Tensions were relieved and complaints about us were dropped then. Now we are accused of allegedly toying with tomatoes. We have enough tomatoes in Belarus right now to satisfy our own market and export some. This is why we ask to trust us, not inspect us. If there is trust, we will be able to accomplish more together than when we face some suspicions from a neighbor,” said Leonid Zayats.
Leonid Zayats pointed out that the Belarusian side had forwarded the entire package of documents – more than once – to Rosselkhoznadzor in order to confirm that agricultural products were subject to the relevant control procedures at every step in Belarus to make sure the products were safe for consumers.
“There must be no doubt about it,” stressed the agriculture and food minister.
The Agriculture and Food Ministry would like Belarusian producers to trade in Russia without any restrictions just the way Russian products are traded in Belarus.
“We don’t close ourselves from Russia today. All kinds of Russian foods are traded on the Belarusian market. We’ve made terms. We have signed common documents, which are legally binding. There are no reasons for picking on us. There is no logic in it,” added Leonid Zayats.
“I think common sense should prevail and the Russian side should hear us,” concluded the Belarusian agriculture and food minister. (BelTA/Business World Magazine)