Press information

Tuesday, January 23, the Minister for Agriculture, Armands Krauze, in Brussel, at the meeting of the EU Council of Ministers for Agriculture and Fishery (Council) repeatedly asked EU Member States to take concrete and immediate actions to ban Russia’s imports of food and agricultural goods to EU.

Armands Krauze: “We are able to provide our inhabitants with the best in the world of food therefore, I propose imposing sanctions on imports of Russia’s food and agricultural goods to EU. Just as I ask colleagues of all the Member States to negotiate with their governments and Prime Ministers because the decision on introduction of sanctions by EU must be made at the highest level – heads of governments. I am repeating again and again – our main priority is supporting Ukraine.

For the Minister for Agriculture, A.Krauze, it is particularly important to protect interests of Latvia’s agriculture and achieve that imports from Russia is banned. Over the past year, influx of cheap Russian grain is being observed in Latvia, and this unfair competition pushes not only Latvian companies but also those of other EU Member States from logistics, ports and our own export markets.

The Minister for Agriculture emphasized the need to do all that is necessary to support Ukraine also by trade measures. “Decision on extending trade relief with Ukraine must be made as soon as possible, at the same time finding a long-term solution to protect EU producers, for example, harmonizing Ukraine’s different production standards with the EU requirements,“ said Armands Krauze.

At the Council meeting, Ministers of the Member States also discussed the main objective of the Belgian presidency - development of a coordinated EU food policy, EU food autonomy, reducing dependency of EU on third countries.  Although, the EU has the most developed agricultural and food system in the world, still stability and food supply at affordable prices must always be the main focus of the EU policy. Therefore, there is much work ahead on drawbacks, to improve safety of supplies, seeking alternatives for major resources and raw materials, for example, fodder and mineral fertilizers.