The MFA says not to laugh at “Belarusian shrimps” and “Belarusian cod”.
“Belarus has the right and opportunities to charter vessels for fishing. Such products can be brought into the Customs Union. So, don't grin if you see 'Belarusian shrimps' or 'Belarusian cod',” Interfax-West news agency learnt from the Belarusian Foreign Affairs Ministry.
The ministry says the charter agreements specify whether Belarusians can be members of the crew and in what territorial waters they can fish.
“Once we chartered two vessels in Kaliningrad for fishing cod, herring and other species in the Atlantic Ocean,” a representative of the MFA said.
He called to differentiate the expressions “the country of origin” and “the country of manufacturing”. “A 'made in Belarus' label means that raw products, including imported ones, were deeply processed. For example, oil and vinegar were added and shrimps were heat-treated. In this case, it is considered that the products have Belarusian origin. The goods codes are changed and they can be brought into Russia without problems,” the MFA's representative explained.
“Own production and the country of origin are different things,” he emphasised.
A photo of “Belarusian shrimps” taken at a supermarket in Russia's Kursk became popular on the Internet. The exotic food with a “made in Belarus” label appeared in Russian shops after the Russian government had banned the import of food from the countries that imposed sanctions on Russia over the annexation of Crimea and the war in Ukraine.