Vice Minister: European Union restrictions would stop the entry of Russian cucumbers and tomatoes into Lithuania


“The main problem is to prevent those goods from entering the EU, since there is already free movement of goods inside and it is more difficult to control, since there is no border control. The main task is to limit the access of these goods to the common market,” V. Tomkus told LRT radio on Wednesday, noting that the European Commission (EC) is going to consider the introduction of customs duties on Russian food imports this week.

“The EC has submitted its proposals regarding the introduction of customs duties, so this week the first discussions of the proposals submitted by the EC will begin. If the member countries manage to agree on this, it would be the first step towards limiting the import of Russian goods into the EU,” said the vice-minister.

According to V. Tomkaus, last year the State Food and Veterinary Service (VMVT) in Lithuania found cases where the labeling of tomatoes on sale did not match, but no such cases were found for cucumbers. The vice-minister also noted that there was no direct import of cucumbers or tomatoes from Russia to Lithuania last year.

He also pointed out that in March the Baltic countries, Poland and the Czech Republic applied to the EC, asking to assess the possibility of introducing restrictive measures for the import of Russian food products.

On Tuesday, the Lithuanian Greenhouse Association applied to ŽŪM regarding cucumbers and tomatoes from Russia entering Lithuania via Poland. According to the association, the products are grown in Russia, then exported to Belarus, and from there to Poland. One such operating model, as indicated by Lithuanian farmers, was captured in Polish warehouses.

It is stated that imported vegetables are several times cheaper than those grown in Poland, Lithuania or Latvia, because energy costs in Russia, due to the sanctions applied to it, are significantly lower than in the EU, Russia does not pay pollution or climate change taxes, in addition, a significant part of the production is sold in the shadow market to avoid paying taxes.

The Lithuanian Greenhouse Association reports that this year it recorded the lowest price of imported production in the last few years, which is significantly affected by imported production from the Russian Federation.

The article is in Lithuanian


Tags: Vice Minister European Union restrictions stop entry Russian cucumbers tomatoes Lithuania


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