The Russian agriculture should not be afraid if the food products’ embargo is lifted for the countries, which had imposed sanctions against Russia, as the Russian products are quite competitive, Russia’s minister of agriculture Alexander Tkachev said.
“Nobody can be sure whether the sanctions are lifted in late 2017”, he said. “We are interested in having them kept for another five years. But even if they are lifted, nothing frightful will happen”.
“First of all, we are quite competitive, the level of support from the state is big: the average profitability of an agricultural company is about 20% in Russia in case of state support, and 10% without it. Secondly, the devaluation: we should not forget, the dollar rate is not 30 (rubles for a dollar) already, but 60. In the long run, if we compare the price in dollars, it is higher. And, besides, the most important – the Russian consumers are now happy to be looking for Russian-made goods at shops”.
The minister continued saying lifted food embargo would not fail the Russian market, as in many sectors Russia did not require imported goods.
“As for pork – we now do not require any import, we have closed that niche. As for poultry – the situation is similar. We are providing for our demand in sugar, buckwheat, potato and oil”, the minister added.
For incorporation of Crimea after a coup in Ukraine in early 2014, Russia came under sanctions on the part of the United States and many European countries. The restrictive measures were soon intensified following Western and Ukrainian claims that Russia supported militias in self-proclaimed republics in Ukraine’s southeast and was involved in destabilization of Ukraine.
As countermeasures, on August 6, 2014 Russia imposed a one-year ban on imports of beef, pork, poultry, fish, cheeses, fruit, vegetables and dairy products from Australia, Canada, the European Union, the United States and Norway. Recently, Russia extended the embargo to the end of 2017.
The Russian authorities have repeatedly denied accusations of annexing Crimea, because Crimea reunified with Russia after the so-called referendum. (TASS/Business World Magazine)