ANNOUNCED AS TEMPORARYNo
On 1 July 2009 the Ministers of Agriculture of Russia and Belarus resolved a number of disagreements concerning the export of milk and meat products from Belarus to Russia. The Russian government contended that there were two problems associated with Belarusian milk exports to Russia: violation of Russia's technical regulations on milk product and excessive supply of Belorussian milk products at the territory of Russia
The Russian document entitled "Technical regulations on milk and milk products", 88-FZ of 12 June 2008(which is attached as a file) establishes standards, which, according to the Russian counterparts, the Belorussian milk products have been violating. However, after bilateral governmental consultations, on 17 June 2009 Belarus milk products received the necessary approval of the Russian state agencies. It is important to emphasize that the Russian government is especially concerned that this particular regulation be adopted within the new Customs Union.
"We have agreed on the new balance of supply and demandinside the State Union in milk and milk products as well as in meat products for the year 2009 ", said Mrs. Elena Srutnik, the Russian Minister of Agriculture. She stated that all disputed matters are solved and that both countries continue cooperation in a usual way.
The final deal states that Belarus would reduce export of dried milk from 110 thousand tons to 70 thousand tons and increase export of cheese and curd from 100 thousand tons up to 132 thousand tons in 2009. Also as part of the deal, from 15 June 2009 until 30 September 2009 Belarus stopped exporting dried milk to Russia.
The "excessive" supply of Belarusian dried milk on the Russian market at a relatively low price was said to be the rationale for these products to be found in non-compliance with regulation 88-FZ. Any subsequent import restriction might therefore benefit Russia's domestic producers of milk and milk products. The new Russian agricultural policy implies gradual import substitution particularly in milk, meat, and grains. Various related investment projects in Russia have been approved (for example, 31 investment projects for the meat production sector were approved, a number which plans call for increasingby 2- 2.5 times by the year 2012).
In July 2009 there is a scheduled meeting of the "Common Board" of both Agricultural Ministries. This meeting will cover the questions concerning law and economic aspects of synchronization of agricultural policies of Belarus and Russia, questions concerning the efficiency of veterinary services cooperation, and formation of new "balanced trade" deal for meat and milk for the year 2010.
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