On Monday March 23rd, a message from the Russian news outlet TASS was published, which stated that the Russian embargo for certain products would be lifted for a month. GroentenFruit Huis (Dutch Produce Association) has indicated that Moscow has confirmed that the boycott will not be lifted.
According to Tom Hoven, spokesman for the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO.nl), Russia has relaxed their administrative regulations. “There are now green routes, which means, for example, that a copy of a certificate is now sufficient, instead of the previously required original. The counter sanctions put in place by Russia have not been lifted. RVO.nl is closely following the developments in Russia, Nieuwe Oogst reports.
The General Farmers’ Syndicate (Algemeen Boerensyndicaat, ABS) in Belgium is using this time to request that authorities look into the possibility of temporarily lifting the Russian embargo on European food stuffs. “The Russian embargo, which dates back to August 2014, is still having a negative impact on the farmers and greenhouse growers in Flanders. We ask that Prime Minister Jan Jambon takes the necessary steps to open up the Russian market for our products. From his capacity as Minister of Foreign Affairs, he is strategically positioned to take these steps,” Vilt reports.
ABS also called on the federal minister of Foreign Affairs, Philippe Goffin, for the same purpose. “We hope that all diplomatic contacts will be put to use and that the minister will direct his efforts to the Russian government so that all those involved in Belgium can possibly benefit from this opportunity,” the growers association states.