Thursday

20th Sep 2018

EU prepares compensation for farmers hit by Russia sanctions

  • An EU compensation plan for farmers hit by Russia's import ban will be discussed at a meeting with government officials on Thursday (Photo: Andrew Stawarz)

EU officials will this week draw up a plan to compensate farmers if they are hit by Russia’s ban on food exports.

Agriculture commissioner Dacian Ciolos cut short his summer holiday to set up an expert panel last Friday (8 August) tasked with looking at the potential impact of the export ban ahead of a meeting with representatives of EU governments on Thursday.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

“We are looking at precisely what is involved but also the potential impact looking at all products,” commission spokesman Roger Waite told reporters on Monday.

“By Thursday ... we will be in a position to have a clearer picture”, he added.

Moscow imposed the year-long ban on EU produce last week in the latest round of its tit-for-tat sanctions battle over Ukraine.

The import ban also applies to the US, Canada, Australia and Norway, although Iceland was exempted.

For its part, the EU recently imposed its toughest sanctions yet on Vladimir Putin’s government, including restrictions on food imports and financial assets, after it continued to support Ukrainian rebel groups believed to have been responsible for shooting down Malaysian flight MH17 last month.

Figures from the EU’s statistical agency Eurostat suggest that the move will cost Europe more than €12 billion in lost exports, which represents around 10 percent of total EU agricultural sales outside the bloc.

But it will also hit Russian consumers, since EU produce accounts for over 40 percent of Russia’s food imports.

The bloc’s common agricultural policy gives the commission a €420 million cash reserve that could be used to compensate farmers, but officials are refusing to jump the gun on whether the fund will need to be tapped.

“We still feel we are a little bit too soon to be discussing exact amounts,” said Waite, adding that “we can support farmers if there are problems but we have to assess what the impact is”.

“European exporters have lost one market but we can’t say that we won’t be able to export to other markets [to replace Russia]”.

The Commission also announced emergency measures to prop up Europe's peach and nectarine growers, which it said had been hard hit by unfavourable weather conditions, and would face additional pressure resulting from the import ban.

Ministers from Poland, Bulgaria, and Finland have already stated their intention to request compensation for their farmers from the EU executive.

Russia imposes retaliatory sanctions on EU

Moscow is slapping a ban on EU-imported fruit and vegetables and food from the US in retaliation for western economic sanctions. Meanwhile, 20,000 Russian soldiers are stationed on the Ukraine border.

News in Brief

  1. Austria ex-chancellor hints at running for Juncker's job
  2. Greece to move asylum-seekers from overcrowded Lesbos camp
  3. Transatlantic soya trade soars due to trade wars
  4. EU tables strategy for connecting Europe and Asia
  5. Bulgaria backs Hungary in dispute with EU
  6. Trump urged Spain to build Sahara wall to stop migrants
  7. EU-Arab League summit proposed for February in Egypt
  8. Stop 'migration blame-game', Tusk tells EU leaders

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  2. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  3. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  4. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  5. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  6. IPHRCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  7. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs
  8. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  9. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  10. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow
  12. UNICEFWhat Kind of Europe Do Children Want? Unicef & Eurochild Launch Survey on the Europe Kids Want

Latest News

  1. Rejected applicants for EU training return to Libya coast guard
  2. EU divisions on menu at Salzburg dinner
  3. EU mulls action to prevent cattle suffering at Turkish border
  4. Safeguarding Schengen at Salzburg
  5. Denmark's image 'damaged' by bank scandal
  6. Real Brexit progress needed by October, Barnier says
  7. Poland to face EU top court on rule of law
  8. Austria's EU presidency: a bridge over troubled water?

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us