Press information

On Monday December 11, Armands Krauze, the Minister for Agriculture, will participate in the EU Council of Ministers for Agriculture and Fisheries (Council) in Brussels where Member States will discuss the complicated situation on agricultural market.

Armands Krauze, the Minister for Agriculture, will repeatedly ask the European Commission (EC) to start discussing the ban on Russia’s grain imports to EU because supporting Russia’s grain being imported on the EU market, the EU actually supports Russia’s economy and its ability to continue the war in Ukraine. Besides, grain imports from Russia have a negative impact on farmers’ competitiveness in EU because in 2023, there were a high grain yields in Russia and this grain is less expensive than that grown in the EU. Latvia is pointing out that everything possible must be done to lessen Russia’s impact on the EU, including the sector of agriculture.

The currently enforced EU sanctions against Russia do not apply to agricultural products and food. Now, nether EU nor Latvian regulatory acts restrict imports of food, including grain, from Russia and transport within EU. According to data of the border control of the Food and Veterinary Service in 11 months of 2023 imported from Russia to Latvia were 383 thousand tons of food grain. At the same time, the transit intended for countries outside EU should be continued.

At the Council, Ministers of Member States will also discuss experience gained during the first year of implementation of the Strategy Plan of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP SP). In the opinion of the Ministry of Agriculture, the first year of CAP SP implementation was complicated and challenging both for farmers and aid administration bodies because the administrative burden has increased considerably. Besides in the programming period 2023-2027, Green Deal objectives must be implemented with a reduced amount of funding. Higher requirements, greater ambitions of the European Commission, regarding climate and the environment have also raised a negative reaction of farmers who must implement these ambitions in their farms.