Minsk finds ungrounded the complaints that Belarus does not control the re-export of products that were banned by Russia.
BelaPAN learnt it from Aliaksei Bahdanau, the head of the main department for foreign economic activities of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food.
According to him, the lack of grounds for Russia's claims was confirmed after a thorough examination of documents from Moscow. It was figured out that some of the certificates on the goods re-exported by Belarus were issued before Russia's embargo took force. A part of goods was subject to the laws on cross-border trade, under which certificates were not needed. The facts pointed by Rosselkhoznadzor really exist, but they are absolutely legal, he says.
The official stresses that Belarus strictly controls the border in what concerns the prevention of the re-export of goods that are banned in Russia. “Russia is our main partner. We have no intentions to spoil our relations with it,” Bahdanau said.
On August 18, Rosselkhoznadzor's head Sergei Dankvert said Belarus tried to re-export European fruit and vegetables that were banned in Russia. “Some EU countries began to send their products to Belarus without specifying the real country of origin. They write, for example, Macedonia, but we figured out it was Poland and Greece, because the Macedonian origin was not confirmed,” Dankvert said.
Russian president Vladimir Putin issued a decree on August 6 that prohibits the import of products from the EU, the US, Canada, Japan and Australia to Russia. The decision was a response to the West's sanctions against Russian officials and companies. The list of banned products includes beef, poultry, fruit, vegetables, cheese, dairy products, nuts and other foods. The ban will cost 9.1 billion dollars, according to the data of the Federal Customs Service of Russia for 2013.
On August 12, Belarusian minister of agriculture and food Leanid Zayats held talks with Sergei Dankvert in Minsk and promised Belarus would not re-export the banned products through the country, because it supported Russia's decision to protect its domestic market.