Belarusian minister: Agriculture should find markets other than Russia

Belarus needs to reduce its dependence on the agrarian market of Russia, Mnister of Industry Alyaksandr Subbotin announced during the Belagro-2019 exhibition, BelTA reports.

“We must try to sell at least a third of the products to foreign countries,” said Alyaksandr Subbotin.

According to the minister, among the promising markets were China, the countries of the Middle East and the African continent. Subbotin added that the European Union’s market was garadually opening up for our producers, and more active negotiations should be conducted with Russia. According to Leanid Zaika, the head of the analytical center “Strategy”, Belarusian products will be ousted from the agrarian market of Russia:

“Why did the president and his attendants who follow him through the barns and calf houses — the leaders — suddenly imagine that Belarus could sell supplies to Russia for $ 7 billion? This was a wrong prediction. This is an absolute agrarian stupidity.”

Milk products in Russian store. Photo: Gavriil Grigorov/TASS/Forum

According to the expert, after the introduction of sanctions against Russia by US President Barack Obama and the imposition of an embargo on Western goods, Russian manufacturers were able to fully secure their market with their own pork and poultry meat. And in the agricultural year 2017-2018, Russia ranked first in the world in the export of wheat.

“Belarus needs to absolutely sensibly look at the nonsense they made when they bet on oil refining — this made the country hit the rock bottom. Food projects have also ended, the expert says. ‘What should Belarusian manufacturers do? Get together, draw banners saying “Lukashenka, come to the farm to work with us!”. That’s all. And what do they want, who will look for these markets for them?”.

On May 21, at a meeting with the government, Alyaksandr Lukashenka confirmed that about 60 Belarusian enterprises do not have access to the Russian market due to restrictions. According to the country’s leader, the balance sheets of agricultural products signed with Russia are not being fulfilled, since Moscow does not adhere to its obligations.

Vitaut Siuchyk,

Cover photo: Gavriil Grigorov / TASS / Forum

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