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