Russia’s Agriculture Watchdog Threatens Belarus with New Bans

Russia’s Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance Rosselkhoznadzor does not intend to initiate lifting of the ban on the supply of apples and pears from Belarus, an official from the watchdog has said, according to Newsbel. Moreover, the agency does not even rule out the introduction of new restrictions, he added.

On April 12, the Rosselkhoznadzor temporarily banned the supply of apples and pears from Belarus. Russia suspects that sanctioned products from western countries can enter Russia under the guise of Belarusian products.

According to Sergey Dankvert, new bans on the supply of vegetables and fruits from Belarus “will depend on future developments”.

“We analyze the produce that comes to us. And if there are non-traditional kinds of it, there will be measures,” said Dankvert.

Russia is threatening Belarus with a total ban on re-export of fruits and vegetables. Rosselkhoznadzor notes that it does not receive reliable information about the volume of imports and the volume of goods that have passed through the procedure of customs clearance in Belarus.

In April, the watchdog appealed with Russia’s security agency FSB and the Ministry of Transport with a request to help stop the “gray food supply schemes” from Belarus.

The Rosselkhoznadzor has been engaged in exposing the scheme with phantom recipients since February 2019. During this time, employees of the organization exposed 37 Belarusian companies that are engaged in “false transit”, when within 2-5 days the trucks manage to deliver products to Almaty and Bishkek in Kazakhstan and Kirgizstan, return to Belarus, load up and go on a new trip. It is worth adding that the distance between Minsk and Bishkek is 4,500 km.