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Guillaume Roue noted that imprudent politically-motivated sanctions of the European Union that caused the Russian response measures have affected agricultural producers and processors in France and many other European countries. Trade restrictions mostly affected pig and dairy industries as well as beef-producing establishments. The European Commission position on temporary restrictions of export of live pigs and porcine products to the Russian Federation due to African swine fever emerging in the Baltic countries and Poland equally affected the European farmers.
Yevgeny Nepoklonov recalled that the Rosselkhoznadzor upon the experience of this disease control in the Russia had rejected the simplified regionalization conditions for ensuring safety of porcine product exported from the European Union proposed by the European Commission but the European Commission filed a claim to the WTO Arbitral Tribunal in response. The life has substantiated the Rosselkhoznadzor’s concerns. Currently, number of ASF cases is reaching 2,000, quarantine zones have been repeatedly extended further inland in these countries and the threat of the disease introduction to Hungary, Slovakia and Germany is seriously considered by the European Union.
The reasonability of the precautionary measures taken by Russia is substantiated by the European Commission unwillingness or inability to ensure the EU product tracing. In 2014 more than 10 tons of pork originated from the EU that had been attempted to be exported to Russia through Poland under the guise of products of Brazil origin were detained. So far, the European Commission has continued to avoid carrying out real investigation of the smuggling cases.
Guillaume Roue, for his part, underlined that France as well as some other European countries understand the approaches to ASF regionalization in the EU proposed by Russia and consider them acceptable for countries that have no land borders with Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. The Chairman of the French Pig Farmers Union noted that current economic downturn in the EU is getting worse and resulting in unemployment rising that’s why re-establishment of the lost trade relations with Russia becomes particularly important.
The parties paid considerable attention to the necessity of close scientific and technical international cooperation. The Rosselkhoznadzor officials emphasized that only consolidated Russian and European scientists’ efforts can prevent introduction of dangerous diseases such as sheep pox, peste des petits ruminants and lumpy skin dermatitis from Turkey, Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Joint investigations of ASF virus are equally important. Epidemic situation is getting worse and animal producers will be the most affected if contra-efforts are not coordinated at international level. The Rosselkhoznadzor has raised this issue at the FAO and OIE meetings and is actively negotiating the enhanced interactions with the Veterinary Services of United Kingdom, Denmark, Italy and many other European countries.
Yevgeny Nepoklonov also indicated that the Rosselkhoznadzor is ready for cooperation with French scientific, professional and business circles as well as welcomes close contacts between industrial associations of both countries.
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