Lithuanian farmers say they are disappointed in Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis, the Lithuanian EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety.
Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis, EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety
© AFP/Scanpix

Farmer organizations have sent the commissioner a letter to express their indignation at the attempts by a directorate reporting to Andriukaitis to give Russia a chance to pick European Union (EU) Member States that would be exempted from its food ban.

A letter signed by the Lithuanian Chamber of Agriculture and the Lithuanian Association of Agricultural Companies was sent to Andriukaitis, the European Commission President, Lithuania’s Prime Minister and the Lithuanian Agriculture Ministry on Monday.

A copy of the letter was made available to BNS.

“We’d like to express our deep concern and disappointment with the document prepared by a Commission’s directorate reporting to you after a meeting between the Russian Federation and the European Commission. The provisions agreed at the meeting as regards normalization of trade in certain specific meat and dairy products open up a possibility for the Russian Federation to pursue bilateral agreements with the EU Member States,” the letter said.

In farmers' view, such a decision by the European Commission would open up a possibility for Russia to use sanctions as a political pressure tool.

Lithuania’s Agriculture Minister Virginija Baltraitienė also said on Monday that a possibility for Russia to pick the EU states, which could be exempt from its food ban, would be used by Moscow as a pressure tool and the hardest hit countries would include the Baltic states and Poland.

Ladislav Miko, a top EU health and safety official, met with Sergey Dankvert, the head of Russia’s veterinary and phytosanitary service (Rosselkhoznadzor) in Berlin in mid-January to discuss the lifting of sanctions.

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