Russia has expressed concern over the huge discrepancy between the level of Belarus’ exports and the actual volumes of its food production.
On Wednesday Vladimir Malinovsky, a deputy head of the Russian General Prosecutor’s Office, suggested that tons of agricultural products were flowing to Russia under the guise of ‘made in Belarus’:
“Other countries’ products banned from entering Russia’s market are often delivered on the basis of forged customs documents and phytosanitary certificates – including under the pretence of being Belarusian goods. For example, in 2015 Russia imported 573,000 tons of Belarusian apples and mushrooms, which is five times Belarus’ crops.”
Belarusian exporters are turning themselves inside out to get around Russia’s embargo. For instance, agricultural products from the West were declared as… beer. Belarus also re-exported African apples to Russia claiming they were from war-torn countries, which over-complicated the verification of their cover papers .
Another case was the miracle of the multiplication of apples in Ecuador. In 2015, the South American country exported 25,000 tons of apples to Belarus, Interestingly, its annual harvest of apples is approx. 10,000 tons, which is much less than even domestic demand: Equador exports additional 60,000 tons of apples per year. In fact, Belarus might have bought apples from Poland, dressed them up in the garb of Ecuador’s and sold to Russia.