President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, who is considered Russia’s closest ally, is expected and defiantly did not come to the Victory parade in Moscow. He is on the same day, explained that I could not miss celebrating important dates in Minsk. And pointedly added: “If the Russians or the Russian leadership asked someone, and they refused, it would “not come”. But as for us: first, nobody invited me to Moscow today, and secondly, even if I did, it would be difficult to separate these (Minsk and Moscow — SP) event.”
In a different political situation, such explanations of the Belarusian leader could be considered acceptable and complete. But the day before Russia imposed tough sanctions against the Belarusian producers of meat and milk. The outcome of a new round of confrontation?
8 may, the day before the celebrations, entered into force on trade barriers Moscow against Belarus. They touched nine meat processing plants. Products four of them (Mogilev meat-packing plant, “Polesye”, “Pinsk koopprom” and “Rivergroup”) are totally prohibited for import into Russia. And products five (Brest meat factory, Slutsk centre, branch of the Pruzhany consumer society, “Alexander” and “Betpak”) is now solved subject to enhanced laboratory control.
Also, the Rosselkhoznadzor on may 8, imposed restrictions on the supply of milk and dairy products in bulk (without packaging) to 37 Belarusian companies.
May 10, introduced restrictions on meat and dairy products three mills is an activist of “Milk”, Milkavita, and the Brest meat-packing plant. According to Rosselkhoznadzor, such harsh sanctions related to the fact that from Belarus to Russia continues to receive products with violation of veterinary-sanitary rules: supposedly, finds in it the harmful bacteria (E. coli and Listeria), antibiotics (tetracyclines and macrolides)…
In Belarusian cheese supposedly there was yeast (which indicates a violation of the conditions of production and storage). Beef — cheaper pork. And pork — chicken.
As commented by the press-Secretary of Rosselkhoznadzor Julia in a few words, the restrictions were necessary to protect the Russian market of low-quality and dangerous products: supposedly, the State veterinary service of Belarus does not allow assessment of regulated products in accordance with the requirements of the Eurasian economic Union (EEU).
The introduction of the restrictions was preceded by the statement of the head of the Rosselkhoznadzor Sergey Dankvert, who complained of “constant attempts to import into Russia through Belarus” fruit and vegetable products with false information about the country of its origin”. We are talking in particular about apples. At the same time, Dankvert said that Rosselkhoznadzor reserves the right to ban the re-export of fruit and vegetable products from Belarus.
The rigidity of the actions of the Rosselkhoznadzor for Belarusian producers contrasts sharply with the remarkable softness of azernikov against domestic counterfeiters. Himself Dankvert in November on the sidelines of the International dairy forum, said that in the domestic market the share of counterfeit products is 20%. And, first and foremost, of course, it’s just “milk”. Only where stringent bans, where administrative and criminal proceedings?! And if not, then not feeling the “double standards”.
Noteworthy is that the new episode of “sanctions” war between Russia and Belarus occurred shortly after Minsk has restricted the transit of Russian oil via the world’s largest oil pipeline “Druzhba”. According to the official, an organized criminal group (the group included top managers of one of the oil companies) stole fuel. And to conceal the theft, the attackers poured into the pipeline of non-conforming oil. Well after leaked: according to the authorities of Belarus, in the pipeline system has accumulated 5 million tons of “dirty” oil (at a cost of approximately $ 30 million).
However, believe the official story is not all. “The only working version is deliberate economic sabotage against Belarus on the background of the ongoing serious economic war between Belarus and Russia”, — commented on the findings of the investigation, the former Deputy energy Minister Vladimir Milov.
How will the introduction of the next portion of sanctions on economic relations between the two supposedly allied countries, the “Free press” has asked our expert, senior expert of the Institute for economic policy Sergey Zhavoronkov:
— Our economy is not affected in any way. For the Belarusian what is happening now, while also pin-pricks. Quite another matter — “tax maneuver”. That is, the refusal of Russia from export duties-transfer tax of gravity for hydrocarbon production. By 2024, when the maneuver is complete, this means for Belarus loss from 15% to 25% of the revenues of the Belarusian budget ($ 2-4 billion per year according to various estimates).
Belarus is very vulnerable in terms of export structure, which accounted for 40% of Russia (in the Ukraine prior to 2014 was about 30%). And it is mainly agriculture and cheap machinery. Type of combine harvesters and buses. It is easily replaceable in Russia and it is difficult to find a market in the EU. Despite the fact that a political settlement of Belarus with the EU, although progress, but far from complete. IMF gives loan to Minsk in 2010, demanding privatization, which Lukashenko does not want.
“SP”: — a ban on the export of “milk”, I believe, will last a long time?
— Lukashenka has a unique resource: Russia can not admit that the Federal government has failed. This is a free and mindless subsidizing Belarus. This recognition is a serious image blow to Vladimir Putin. Because Lukashenka behaves from a position of strength, and Putin backs down. The last story with the opinion of Mikhail Babich from the post of Russian Ambassador in Minsk, is very characteristic. I think Russia will back down this time.
“SP”: — But introduced June 2018 sanctions against Belarusian dairy enterprises are still not fully cancelled.
Restrictions are constantly being introduced and withdrawn for certain Belarusian enterprises. Lukashenko operates similarly. Plus — since the beginning of the year, he raised tariffs for the transit of Russian oil by almost 10%. To raise the gas can not, as at the time sold “Beltransgaz” to “Gazprom”.
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