Friday, 12 December 2014

Friday's Russian news roundup

Pakistan’s Finance Ministers has told officials from the Commerce and Trade Authority to come up with a plan to export agricultural products to Russia.

He told exporters to take advantage of the ban imposed by the Russian government and that it will enhance overall exports of the country and lessen the current deficit, which is an easier thing to say than do.

He also told Ministries to prepare for World Food Exhibition 2015 in Moscow, I didn't know there was a World Food Exhibition in Moscow next year, I wonder if EU and US food producers are invited.

Russia will ban imports of live poultry and hatching eggs from the Netherlands starting today due to the outbreak of H5N8 in the Dutch village Kamperveen.  As well as poultry the village is renowned for manufacturing mobile leisure vehicles.

The problem with all these tit-for-tat bans is it’s difficult to spot a genuine case when a country is justified in restricting imports, I suspect this is genuine although I thought poultry and hatching eggs would already have come under the general sanctions list.

The on-off Russian export is back on with rumours that Russia will go ahead and limit exports apparently based on a comment by a Russian agriculture minister that the country would attempt to slow exports by raising the intervention price.

All the indicators suggest there won’t be export restrictions which leads one to think that’s exactly what will happen.

Belarus are saying the current embargo by Russia on their exports are unjustified and are hurting several Belarussian companies.

Russia has now said they will let some Belarussian enterprises resume exports to which Belarus responded that it is important to reopen exports for all the enterprises at once instead of two or four.

Vladislav Tsydik, Deputy Chairman of the Agrarian Policy Commission of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus (and breathe) said “I am convinced that our products are as good as foreign ones, Belarussian products are organic, environmentally pristine and safe”.  But possibly slightly radioactive.

You have to feel sorry for Belarus, April 1986 the wind was blowing in a northerly direction taking with it the radioactive cloud from Chornobyl before dumping it over large parts of Belarus, no nuclear power stations on its territory but extensive contamination.

I've been to the contaminated regions and abandoned villages in the south of the country, a truly heart-breaking experience.

Have a good weekend.