IRISH Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, has responded to the Russian announcement that it is banning food imports from the EU and other countries.
‘This move is obviously unwelcome from an Irish and broader EU perspective, but we cannot say it was totally unanticipated, given the recent evolution of events.
‘My Department is currently working to clarify the specific details of the ban. The impact on Ireland will depend both on the products covered by the ban and any knock-on effects on international market prices as banned product seeks replacement markets.
‘Whilst Ireland’s agri-food export trade with Russia represents less than 2.5 per cent of total agri-food export, this very much belies the importance of this market in terms of its future potential.
‘The obvious preference is for a normalisation of trade relations but these issues cannot be viewed without taking into account the overall political context.
‘To assist companies exporting to Russia, I have asked Bord Bia to establish an advice line, which will make the most up to date information available to these companies.’
‘My Department will maintain an ongoing assessment of the situation, where intensive engagement is already ongoing with Russian authorities regarding agri-trade issues including temporary restrictions already in place on certain exports in specific sectors.’