Didier Reynders on Russian sanctions against EU countries

date: 08 August 2014

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders has taken note of the decision made by the Russian government to ban the import of some foods from the EU, the US, Canada, Norway and Australia. At the moment the complete and detailed list of the targeted foods is not yet known.

The exact economic impact cannot yet be assessed. The FPS Foreign Affairs, the FPS Economy and the competent regional organisations are looking into this.
Belgium supports the European Union’s measures against Russia. These measures will have an enormous impact on the Russian economy and will be a strong signal to the authorities in Moscow. But the EU is willing to retract these decisions as soon as Russia is willing to unequivocally cooperate on finding a solution for the crisis in Ukraine.

The EU has taken these measures after careful deliberation and in consultation with the Belgian economic authorities and the competent regional organisations. Naturally, these measures and/or counter measures will imply economic costs for the EU and its Member States. The goal is to make Russia understand the country has more to lose than Europe.

The Belgian export of foods such as pears, apples, tomatoes and dairy is now affected. Food products account for 7% of the Belgian exports to Russia, amounting to a little over €200 million.
Didier Reynders encourages the agricultural organisations in Belgium and Europe to find alternative markets in close consultation and cooperation and to look into a possible EU claim settlement.