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08 December 2021, 09:37

Minister: We hope food embargo will not hurt Belarusian consumers

Vladimir Koltovich
Vladimir Koltovich

MINSK, 8 December (BelTA) – Hopefully the food embargo will not have a negative impact on consumers, Minister of Antimonopoly Regulation and Trade Vladimir Koltovich told reporters commenting on the Council of Ministers' Resolution No. 700 “On the application of special measures in relation to certain types of goods” of 6 December 2021, BelTA has learned.

“The reasons for passing this resolution are mounting sanctions against Belarus. We were forced to do this. Unfortunately, we have to respond and act accordingly. The government resorted to this move after the fifth round of sanctions was passed. Extensive consultations were held with government agencies on certain product groups that are imported from the countries to which the embargo applies. These are more than 20 product groups. They include goods that are used in manufacturing and sold in retail stores,” Vladimir Koltovich said.

According to him, these goods can be roughly divided into three types. “Goods that are fully replaced by domestic producers or manufacturers from friendly countries. Goods that are locally produced, but in insufficient amounts, and the so-called critical goods,” the minister said.

Vladimir Koltovich added that the decree provides for a number of exemptions. “Indeed, as this list features critical goods, suppliers will be encouraged and incentivized to import such goods from other countries, including friendly countries. In this regard, we hope that customers will not be affected by these measures. In addition, these measures do not apply to goods imported for personal use, baby food and goods that are used to produce baby food and medicines, and so on. Therefore, I think that these measures are targeted and very specific. I would like to cite some figures. In January-September Belarus imported more than $2 billion worth of food. This is about a quarter of the goods in this list,” the minister said.

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