Russia veg

Russian agricultural authority Rosselkhoznadzor has announced that the country is this week (w/c 7 December) introducing new phytosanitary rules for imports of vegetables through Belarus.

The measures are apparently designed to prevent exports from banned countries reaching Russia via neighbouring Belarus, which is itself free to export to Russia.

“Rosselkhoznadzor has to introduce special phytosanitary conditions from December 7, which imply confirmation of authenticity of phytosanitary certificates serving as grounds to issue Belarus re-export phytosanitary certificates,' press secretary Yulia Melano told TASS Russian News Agency. “These measures are needed to prevent export of products of unknown origin to Russia through Belarus, including products under the food embargo against EU countries.”

Statistics from ITC Trade Map show a big increase in exports from Belarus to Russia between 2013 and 2014, when the ban on EU and US produce was introduced, with vegetable sales rising by 60 per cent and fruit and nut sales by 44 per cent.

Such actions are also being taken to ensure Turkish products, recently sanctioned by Russia following Turkey’s downing of a Russian jet on the Syrian border, are unable to use Belarus as a conduit to circumnavigate the ban.

'Certainly, unfair suppliers will try to use the opportunity of delivering such supplies via Belarus,' the regulator said.

Russian tourists head to UAE

Since Russia introduced a ban on flights from Russia to Turkey and to the Egyptian tourist destination, Sharm El-Sheikh, Russian tourists are reportedly turning their attentions to alternatives such as the UAE and Thailand.

According to the Association of Tour Operators in Russia, demand for tours to the UAE has risen by 20 per cent over the last two weeks, while tours to Thailand are apparently up 10-15 per cent.