Russia intercepts illegal products again

Russian inspection visits Netherlands

Although the Russian boycott of Turkish products has been dominating the news these days, the boycott of Europe and other countries is still in force. The Russian inspection intercepted several shipments of illegally imported fruit and vegetables in the past days. Also, the Russian inspection is visiting Dutch seedling companies, in order to determine the quota for next year. The Rabobank presented a report on the Russian economy, and Putin again cuts his own salary and that of some top officials.

Russian inspection visits Netherlands
The Russian phytosanitary service visited Dutch seedling companies last week. The inspection comes to check the companies at the invitation of the Netherlands. Based on the results of the inspection, the quota for Dutch seedlings for the Russian market will be decided.

Tighter demands import Belarus
From December 7, tighter import rules will apply for food and agricultural products for Belarus. The Belarusian companies that re-export, need to deliver the original phytosanitary certificates, before a product gains access to the Eurasian Economic Union. With this measure, Russia is hoping to prevent the import of anonymous products.

Russian economy
Despite the many reports on economic decline, recession and deflation, the Russian economy also has its strong points. Rabobank writes in a report that the country has had a strong trade balance for years. The public debt is also relatively low, at thirteen percent of the GDP. The funding gap for 2015 and 2016 can be compensated with the state's reserves.

There is plenty of reason to worry, however. The economy shrank by four percent in the second and third quarter of 2015, the strongest decline in six years.

The past year, the growth expectations have only been adjusted downward, and with the high inflation, around fifteen percent, demand will remain low. The rouble's exchange rate has stabilized since the beginning of the year, and has been fluctuating between sixty and seventy roubles for a dollar in recent months. Click here to read the full report.

Putin cuts own salary
The recession in Russia is hitting the Russian people hard, so President Putin decided to cut his salary by ten percent. Salaries of other top politicians, such as Prime Minister Medvedev, are also cut next year. Earlier this year, the salaries were already lowered in response to the devaluation of the rouble and the low oil price. The salaries went down by more than ten percent in real value in the past year. The Russian president made 7.6 million roubles (114,000 dollars at the current exchange rate) in 2014, Prime Minister Medvedev had 8 million roubles (120,000 dollars) on his payslip that year.

Toll problem solved
The problem with the supply of fruit and vegetables from Azerbaijan has been solved completely according to the Secretary of State of Economy and Industry of the Central Asian country. Russia recently introduced a new vignette for trucks of 12 tonnes and heavier. The tax would be doubled in March 2016. That resulted in protests from truck drivers from Azerbaijan, who stopped at the border. Reports came from Russia of trucks crawling along the highways at ten kilometres per hour. What the solution entails exactly, is unclear. According tot the secretary of state, 120 of the 180 trucks that took part in the protests have now been unloaded.

Russia intercepts illegal products again
Late November, the Russian phytosanitary service stopped three trucks from Belarus. The trucks were loaded with Moroccan pears, Chinese apples and South African persimmon. The inspection noted fraud in the certificates accompanying the products. The trucks were confiscated for further inspection. Last week, the inspection intercepted 1.55 tonnes of mushrooms, pomegranates, cabbage, lemons and grapes. The required phytosanitary certificate was missing, upon which the shipment was sent back to Belarus.

Armenian export +68%
According to the Armenian Ministry of Agriculture, the country exported 70,200 tonnes of fruit and vegetables already this year. That's 28,000 tonnes or 68 percent more than last year. The export is only expected to grow further. The majority of the export, 84 percent (58,900 tonnes), is exported to Russia. About 11,000 tonnes went to Georgia, with other markets being countries like the United Arab Emirates, Poland, Kuwait, Czech Republic, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Iran.

Armenia exported 11,000 tonnes of grapes, 21,300 tonnes of apricots, 3,045 tonnes of plums and 2,200 tonnes of cherries. The apple export amounted to 1270 tonnes. For cabbage it's 10,200 tonnes, radish 2,900 tonnes, tomatoes 1,280 tonnes and cucumbers 3,700 tonnes. For all products, a significant growth was realized.

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