Last updateMon, 23 May 2016 12am

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Russia's embargo on fresh produce from European Union member states, the US and allied countries has been in force for over a year and a half. Also, in January of this year, Turkish exports including tomatoes, cucumbers and some greens were restricted.

Belarus is losing trade turnover because of the ongoing trade sanctions between Russia and the European Union. The country's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vladimir Makei, said that Belarus is suffering because of the embargo.

Russia's policy to ban Ukrainian agricultural products went into effect as of January 1, coinciding with the start of Ukraine's Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) - a part of the Association Agreement - with the European Union (EU).

In an interview, aired by Rossiya-24 TV news channel on Wednesday, Russia's Economic Development Minister Alexey Ulyukayev said that the restrictions of the food embargo are to be expanded to include the country of Ukraine as of January 1, 2016.

Prime Minister of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic was in Moscow to attend the talks with Russia's Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev. Serbia is prepared to make its accession to the European Union. However an agreement for its accession is contingent on Serbia ending its trade agreement with Russia, Medvedev said.

Thirty-nine thousand participants attended this year's Macfrut conference in Rimini, Italy, to discuss current and future prospects for trade and cooperation between nations of the European Union, countries of South America, Central America and Iran.

A large number of industry specialists have said the reason for France's Agriculture Minister Stephane Le Foll's visit to Russia is possibly to “feel out” the situation concerning the sanctions and food embargo against member states of the European Union (EU). Initial information about the official's arrival was publicized during the international show for livestock products in Rennes, France.

Russia is the second biggest market for agri-food exports after the US, with exports worth around 11 billion – 12 billion euros annually, according to a report published by The Parliament, an online publication focusing on EU politics and policy. Russian sanctions have added to the mounting obstacles faced by EU farmers, including supply chain problems and the weakening of the Chinese import market.

As part of the European Union's (EU) counter sanction response to the Russian embargo, the European Commission created 'safety net measures' to allocate quotas to member states for food items to help balance the food market from August 8 of this year until June 2016.

The authors of the initiative, reported earlier this week, that would destroy contraband in Russian territory said that it is currently not a viable option. They said that, overall, the idea to destroy illegal goods would require significant budget funding. Secondly, instead of destroying such products, charity organizations would be able to take advantage of these supplies for their own operations.

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