Cyprus pre­pares to “min­imise im­pact” from Rus­sia’s food em­bargo

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

Rus­sia’s em­brago on EU food prod­ucts is ex­pected to have both a di­rect and an in­di­rect im­pact on the econ­omy, Nelly Kou­lia, the Trade Ser­vice Direc­tor said on Tues­day, fol­low­ing a tech­ni­cal meet­ing in Ni­cosia.

Ac­cord­ing to Kou­lia, the to­tal value of ex­ports to Rus­sia in 2013 was 13 mln eu­ros, of which around 11 mln is citrus fruits, 1.5 mln seafood and 0.5 mln for vegeta­bles.

The meet­ing was at­tended by rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture, agri­cul­tural or­gan­i­sa­tions and the Cyprus Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try (KEVE), who took stock of the em­bargo’s im­pact on ex­ports.

Kou­lia noted that a com­pre­hen­sive note will be sub­mit­ted to all Min­istries in order to take ap­pro­pri­ate ac­tion. She added that the is­sue of com­pen­sa­tions will be de­cided at the EU level.

The Trade Ser­vice Direc­tor did not pre­clude, how­ever, a chain re­ac­tion on other sec­tors of the econ­omy and said that the is­sue at stake now was “to min­imise the im­pact”.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of agri­cul­tural or­gan­i­sa­tions said from their part that the em­bargo af­fects more than 2,500 fam­i­lies in Cyprus. They talked about a “dis­as­trous de­ci­sion” for agri­cul­ture and the ex­port sec­tor, while not­ing fi­nally their ex­pec­ta­tion for state sup­port in order to cope with dif­fi­cult con­di­tions.

Separately, the Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture said it is closely mon­i­tor­ing the sit­u­a­tion fol­low­ing the ban on food im­ports Moscow has i mposed on the EU, Nor­way, the US, Canada and Aus­tralia.

The Min­istry said in a state­ment that all com­pe­tent ser­vices, along with ser­vices from the Min­istries of For­eign Af­fairs and En­ergy, Com­merce, In­dus­try and Tourism, are in close con­tact and are fol­low­ing all de­vel­op­ments.

Ac­cord­ing to the state­ment, ac­tions so far fo­cus on as­sess­ing the con­se­quences of the ban and ex­am­in­ing whether al­ter­na­tive mar­kets can be found for Cypriot prod­ucts.

Fur­ther­more, the Min­istry pointed out that it is fol­low­ing de­vel­op­ments in Brus­sels and is await­ing the re­sults of an ex­perts’ meet­ing to take place on Thurs­day. De­pend­ing on the re­sults, the Cypriot au­thor­i­ties will ex­am­ine all avail­able op­tions.

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