Cyprus seeks to increase dairy exports to Russia post-embargo


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Halloumi cheese is Cyprus' second largest export.
Halloumi cheese is Cyprus' second largest export.

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Cyprus has held talks with Russia in a bid to increase dairy product exports to the country post-embargo.

Christodoulos Pipis, Veterinary Service of the Cypriot Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment, met Alexey Alekseyenko, deputy head of the Russian Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (Rosselkhoznadzor), met in Nicosia last week.

During the talks, Cyprus "expressed interest in a substantial increase in the production of controlled products to supply the Russian market," ​said a statement issued by Rosselkhoznadzor.

Russia and Cyprus “express hope for fruitful cooperation in the fields of dairy, meat products, as well as production of water fisheries and aquaculture after the abolition of Russia’s restrictive economic measures imposed in response to the anti-Russian sanctions,"​ it added.

Rosselkhoznadzor officials arrived in Cyprus today to carry out inspections at plants operated by companies with an interest in exporting dairy products, fish and meat to Russia and other Eurasian Economic Union countries (Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan).

The Russian market has been closed to Cypriot food since late last year.

In August 2014, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev introduced a one-year ban on the import of agricultural products, including meat, fish and dairy products, from the European Union (EU), United States, Australia, Canada and Norway.

Halloumi cheese is, according to reports, Cyprus's second largest export.

Prior to the Russian trade ban, however, EU Member State Cyprus exported little cheese to Russia.

In 2013, 27,438 kilograms (kg) of cheese worth US$232,449 was shipped from Cyprus to Russia,according to United Nations (UN) trade data.

In the first eight months of 2014, 9,590kg of cheese worth US$92,638 left Cyprus for Russia.

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