Four years after the launching of anti-Russian sanctions, it can be safely said that they inflicted the greatest blow on those who initiated these sanctions. Judge yourself. The economy of the European Union has lost more than $ 100 billion. And the losses of the Russian economy amounted at 55 billion dollars. Such data was announced by the UN special rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the realization of human rights Idris Jazairi. So who punished whom is the big question.
Moreover, from the launch of sanctions against Russia, the economy of the EU continues lose $ 3.2 billion per month. The Russian food embargo has also added fuel into the fire – a ban on the import of certain agricultural products, raw materials and foodstuffs from the country, which decided to impose economic sanctions. ” The embargo touched the countries of the European Union, the USA, Australia, Canada and Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Albania , Montenegro and Ukraine. As a result, some countries that have fallen under the embargo have significantly reduced agro-food exports.
The most vulnerable were Iceland, Finland, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Poland and Belgium, for which Russia was the main market for some embargoed goods. Shortly after the introduction of Russian prohibitions on the part of individual European experts, statements were made about its negative consequences for the EU. Some called the embargo a “nightmare” and a “catastrophe for Europe”. However, pretty quickly the passions around the embargo died down. And there was an illusion that the European countries somehow coped with the problem. But how? The answer is clear. Moving away from the initial shock, European manufacturers began to look for an outlet for their current situation. Nobody wanted to bear colossal financial losses. And to find an alternative market for frozen fish, pork, cheeses and dairy products without Russia turned out to be an impossible task for them. And then the Europeans had to take the slippery path of smugglers …
The main intermediary in the smuggling of European products was Belarus. Thus, Polish apples, Norwegian fish and Dutch tomatoes returned to Russian counters, but already under the brand of Belarusian producers. “For us it’s the Klondike,” said Leonid Marynich, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Food of Belarus, the day after the introduction of food sanctions against Russia and the Russian embargo. We have Meat, we have milk, we will make more cheese, and instead of Dutch potatoes and Polish apples we will supply Belarus with Belarusian ones. Then the statement about Belarusian apples surprised even the Belarusians: in fact, in Minsk stores apples, as a rule, Polish or Dutch. Suspicions that under the guise of their own products, Belarus will supply Sanctionary food to Russia, appeared immediately.
And soon suspicions were confirmed. However, the Belarusians did not abuse the “gluing of stickers”, finding a more legal way of selling European sanctions to Russia. Still, the Rosselkhoznadzor can check the products at the entrance to Russia. With fruits and vegetables, a trick with stickers can still be turned – it’s an impersonal product whose country of origin is difficult to determine even in the laboratory. But with other products such a deception will not pass.
After the introduction of the food embargo, the Russian authorities specified that they would not prohibit the importation into Russia of products from Western raw materials processed on the territory of Belarus. So on the shelves of Russian shops appeared “Belarusian mussels” and shrimp: they were imported to Belarus in raw form, and to Russia – processed and packaged. Prohibited milk from Europe has turned into legal Belarusian kefir, cottage cheese, butter and cheese. As a result, the import of milk from the EU to Belarus increased tens of times (and according to some data, even hundreds). By the end of 2014, European raw materials have already processed 15 Belarusian dairy factories: purchases from Poland monopolized Brest Savushkin Product, Lithuanian milk was bought by Zdravushka Milk, Slutsk Cheese Factory and Babushkina Krynka, milk from Latvia in Glubokoy was recycled into condensed milk, and in Turov – in cheese.
Of course, the fight against sanctions in Russia is underway. Rosselkhoznadzor for the past three years has repeatedly suspended the import of a number of Belarusian enterprises, making claims to its quality. Over 10 months of last year alone, over 1,544 tons of such products were detained in border areas with Belarus. But vegetables and fruits from all over Europe, Ukrainian cheese products, Norwegian fish, Belgian pears are still traveling through Belarus.
However, neither Europe nor Belarus smuggled and not enriched. The devaluation of the Russian ruble and the decline in product prices have cut down potential earnings. If you transfer tons into money (that is, dollars), then Belarus even was at a loss: for the first half of 2015, Belarus earned 20% less than in the first six months of the pre-month months of 2014. Klondike from the Russian market did not work, at least according to official statistics.

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