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EU money to farmers affected by Russian import ban

European fruit and vegetable growers who will lose money due to the introduction of a Russian food import ban announced ten days ago will be compensated 125 million euros by the European Commission, the European executive body announced in a statement on Monday.  The announcement follows Russian President Vladimir Putin's decision on August 7 to ban or severely restrict imports of food and agricultural products from the countries imposing sanctions on Russia’s defense, oil and financial sectors over the crisis in Ukraine. European Union fruit exports to Russia in 2013 were worth almost 1.1 billion euros according to the EU's statistics office Eurostat  – most of EU´s agriculture exports come from Lithuania, Poland, Finland and Denmark. European Commission' fears have grown in the last two weeks that extra supplies in the bloc – particularly of fruit, vegetables– could drop prices in the next few months and will give damages farmers in the union.

“Emergency measures which will reduce overall supply of a number of fruit and vegetable products on the European market as and when price pressures become too great in the coming months,”  Dacian Ciolos, EU Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner said.

“All farmers of the concerned products - whether in producer organisations or not - will be eligible to take up these market support measures where they see fit. Acting early will provide an efficient support to the price paid to producers on the internal market, help the market adjust and be cost effective."

The measures will apply until the end of November.

European Union fruit exports to Russia in 2013 were worth almost 1.1 billion euros – The union members Lithuania, Poland, Finland and Denmark losing hundreds of millions of euros because of the Russian ban. 

The European Union imposed sanctions against Russia in July which took effect in August. 

Russia’s move to impose sanctions on the European Union and other western countries was in retaliation to the U.S. and EU sanctions against some its banks and individuals.The Russian sanction covers foodstuffs from 28 EU countries, the U.S., Canada, Norway and Australia.

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