| Wednesday, 19 November 2014
Macedonian Government has given two days to all relevant institutions to examine whether some companies were performing re-export of European agricultural products for the Russian Federation. This comes after Russia announced it will examine European countries it still imports foods from, such as Macedonia, if they are suspiciously increasing the quantity of their exports to Russia, or in other words, importing foods from the European Union and re-exporting them to the Russian market. Russia introduced a ban on imports of agricultural products from the US and the European Union, after they imposed sanctions on Russian individuals and companies over the crisis in Ukraine.
Macedonian Economy Minister says the Interior Ministry, the Customs, the Food and Agriculture Agency and the State’s Agriculture Inspection Bureau will all be involved in determining whether Macedonian companies are being used to circumvent Russian sanctions.
We will have a detailed investigation, and if we determine such acts, we will use all available responses, including criminal charges against the individuals and companies who do that, the Minister said.
European companies that used to do business with Russia are scrambling to find partners in countries where Russian sanctions don’t apply, and try to use them to place their food on the Russian market. Russia has raised suspicions that Macedonian companies are involved in such actions with fruits and vegetables, but that there is no evidence yet. Russian Veterinary Agency asked Macedonian authorities to provide an analysis of our exports to Russia within a week, that would prove that fruits and vegetables that are exported to Russia are indeed made in Macedonia. On Tuesday, Russia banned meat imports from Montenegro, after they greatly increased their export quantities far beyond any realistic ability of Montenegrin producers, which implies they are actually re-exported European meat products.