Russia importing Belarus dairy products made with EU milk: DairyInfa


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Russia importing Belarus dairy products made with EU milk: DairyInfa

Related tags Russia European union

Russia is taking "the back way" to overcome its dairy import shortfall - importing Belarusian cheese made using milk sourced from blacklisted European countries, DairyInfa claims.

Last month, according to Ukrainian dairy sector analysts DairyInfa​, the Belarusian government granted 15 domestic dairy processors permission to import around 128,700 tonnes of milk and cream from Poland, France, and the Baltic states.

Among the fifteen, Belarusian cheese makers, Savushkin Product, Dairy Company Novogrudskaya, and Baranovichskii Molochnyi, sealed deals to purchase tens of thousands of tonnes of milk and cream from countries such as Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia. 

Much of the purchased milk will be used to manufacture cheese for export to Russia, it said.

Under the one-year Russian embargo announced by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on August 7 2014 , the import of cheese, milk, beef, pork, fruit, vegetables from the European Union (EU), US, Australia, Canada, and Norway is prohibited.

In 2013, the Russian Federation imported around 438,500 tonnes of cheese worth approximately €1.7bn (US$2.17bn).

Around 250,000 tonnes of this total, worth €980m (US$1.3bn), was exported from the 28 EU Member States. 

Belarus meanwhile exported roughly 136,000 tonnes of cheese, worth around €495m (US$628m), to Russia the same year.

Speaking with, Maksim Fasteyev, senior dairy markets analyst, DairyInfa, said accepting cheese made using blacklisted milk was one way for Russia to meet this shortfall.

“One way for Russia to deal with dairy demand is to go in the back way,"​ said Fasteyev. "That's the way we see it."

“This is a strange policy,”​ he said. “It is not good for our brains, but it is good for the Russian government.”

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