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EEC to discuss Belarus-Russia dairy dispute on 19 June

Economy 15.06.2018 | 17:52

MINSK, 15 June (BelTA) – The Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) is set to discuss restrictions on the supply of Belarusian dairy products to Russia on 19 June, Member of the Board (Minister) for Economy and Financial Policy of the EEC Timur Zhaksylykov told reporters on 15 June, BelTA has learned.

“On Tuesday the Board will examine this issue one more time and will deliver its final decision. We have carefully studied all the information provided by the both sides,” the minister said when asked about the EEC's stance on the restrictions imposed on Belarusian dairy supplies to Russia.

The minister reminded that a rather heated and in-depth discussion of this matter took place in the EEC last week. “We heard out the points of the both sides, Rosselkhoznadzor and the Belarusian representatives authorized to negotiate this matter. It is a complicated issue. The Board urged closer interaction between the authorized agencies and noted that many problems arise due to the lack of information. Some issues are attributed to the vague language of the respective laws. It is necessary to set out concrete requirements regarding the threshold level of antibiotics and other harmful substances in food products and to spell out analysis methods and requirements to laboratory equipment calibration. The Board arrived at the conclusion that such restrictions and bans, if imposed, should be fully compliant with the laws of the union and should never go outside the scope of authority determined by the union,” he underlined.

Some members of the Board believe that it has already happened, said Timur Zhaksylykov. “Now we need to decide how to rectify the situation. The Board has developed draft recommendations. However, before the final decision is made, I would not want to go into detail about the format of these recommendations. I would not put the blame on a specific party. However, had the actions of all the stakeholders been compliant with the law, such a situation would not have happened,” he noted.

As BelTA reported earlier, the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance of Russia (Rosselkhoznadzor) imposed temporary restrictions on the supply of some types of Belarusian dairy products to Russia on 6 June. That pertained to products in packages exceeding 2.5 liters. On 11 June, the temporary restrictions were lifted on the supplies of dairy products of Baranovichi Dairy, Lyakhovichi Dairy and Volkovysk-based Bellakt.

Rosselkhoznadzor and the Department of Veterinary and Food Surveillance of Belarus' Agriculture and Food Ministry signed a roadmap on the procedure to lift mutual restrictive measures on supplies of dairy products on 9 June.

Member of the Board (Minister) for Economy and Financial Policy of the Eurasian Economic Commission Timur Zhaksylykov met with representatives of the Belarusian business community on 15 June. The parties discussed issues related to business operations on the markets of the Eurasian Economic Union member states, restrictions on taking part in public procurement (including via electronic trading platforms), introduction of a single trademark in the EAEU, indirect taxes in mutual trade, marking and tracking systems in the EAEU and issues obstructing equal access to the EAEU market for Belarusian economic operators.

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