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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.