Russian experts arrived to size up the potential of local fruit growers and familiarize themselves with the control over the certification process.
In simple terms, they are checking whether the apples that soon might be labelled ‘made in Belarus’ do grow in the country.
In April, Rosselkhoznadzor, the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Supervision, imposed temporary restrictions on the imports of apples and pears from Belarus claiming that it makes deliveries of sanctioned food of EU origin to Russia. Rosselkhoznadzor stressed the agency did not receive reliable information about the volume of imports and the volume of goods that passed through the procedure of customs clearance in our country. This leads to falsification of the goods’ true country of origin, the Russian side added.
Over the past two days, Rosselkhoznadzor experts have made a number of visits to Belarusian gardens. According to the watchdog, they are estimating the production capacity of farms in Brest, Vitsebsk and Hrodna.
They came to Belarus at the invitation of Alyaksandr Piskun, Director of the Main State Inspectorate on Seed-growing, Quarantine and Plant Protection.
In May, Rosselkhoznadzor said they had no intention to lift the ban.
In late June, Russian president Vladimir Putin signed a decree extending ‘specific economic measures against countries that imposed sanctions against Russia until December 31, 2020.
Since August 2015, Russia has destroyed about thousands of tons of food from countries that were put under the Russian food embargo. Most of these products made it into Russia through Belarus.
Belarusian companies gained notoriety for purchasing food products ‘made in the EU’, ‘editing’ some inscription on their packages and then delivering them to Russia which took retaliation measures against the bloc for its sanctions list and support of Ukraine.