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Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter Ni­cos Kouyialis said he is op­ti­mistic that the agri­cul­tural pro­duce that was to be ex­ported to Rus­sia and has been af­fected by the em­bargo im­posed on the EU by the Rus­sian Fed­er­a­tion will be sold else­where, pos­si­bly to the UAE and Egypt.

Kouyialis said that by the end of this week, traders from the United Arab Emi­rates in­ter­ested in buy the pro­duce are ex­pected to ar­rive in Cyprus, and that the aim was for this co­op­er­a­tion to ex­tend be­yond the Rus­sian em­bargo.

He said he will meet here on Fri­day morn­ing with rep­re­sen­ta­tives of a UAE com­pany im­port­ing agri­cul­tural prod­ucts.

The com­pany will also have a se­ries of meet­ings with Cypriot pro­duc­ers and ex­porters.

The Min­istry aims to pro­mote ex­ports of cit­rus fruit and fish­eries to the UAE, as well as other prod­ucts, such as pota­toes, that are not af­fected by the ban but which were pro­duced in greater vol­umes this year.

The Min­is­ter did not rule out the pos­si­bil­ity of ex­ports to other coun­tries as well.

He said that cit­rus fruits and al­monds were mostly af­fected by the em­bargo, as op­posed to veg­eta­bles, which were not ex­ported in large quan­ti­ties. Cyprus is ex­pected to lose some 13 mln eu­ros from the Rus­sian em­bargo, but cit­rus de­liv­er­ies were ex­pected un­til Novem­ber, giv­ing the au­thor­i­ties time to find new mar­kets.

Kouyialis said af­ter Wed­nes­day’s cabi­net meet­ing that the gov­ern­ment is look­ing for­ward to the Agri­cul­ture and Fish­eries Coun­cil (AGRIFISH) to take place on Septem­ber 5, where it will pro­pose com­pen­sat­ing the farm­ers who were af­fected. The EU has so far agreed tio re­lease some 125 mln eu­ros our of its Com­mon Agri­cul­tural Pol­icy emer­gency fund of 400 mln, but that will go mainly to peaceh and ap­ple farm­ers, mainly in east­ern Europe and the Balkan area. Kouyialis had said last week that he wanted the ex­tra­or­di­nary Agri­cul­ture and Fish­eries Coun­cil meet­ing to dis­cuss mea­sures on how to deal with Rus­sia’s ban on EU food prod­ucts, to take place sooner than on Septem­ber 5.

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