EU Commissioner, Phil Hogan, Makes a Statement

April 26, 2016 09:55

Making a speech at the plenary session of the European Commission devoted to measures for overcoming crisis in the EU agrarian sector, EU Commissioner Phil Hogan stated : “The Commission has and is continuing to make every effort to lift the protectionist ban imposed by Russia on pig products from the EU. Over recent months and in parallel with the WTO procedure, the Commission has made numerous efforts to convince Russia to engage in meaningful technical negotiations for an agreed solution at EU level. We also made clear that we are ready to examine any concrete proposal Russia submitted to the EU”, reports with reference to Rosselkhoznadzor.

In this respect the Rosselkhoznadzor finds it necessary to remind that at the beginning of 2014 after the first ASF outbreaks in Lithuania and Poland it proposed the European Commission to implement regionalization, equivalent to measures taken by Russia and the CU partners, for safe export of pork products from the European Union and to hold negotiations aimed at harmonizing new forms of veterinary certificates between the European Commission and EEU Commission. The European Commission rejected both of these proposals.

Herewith, the European Commission disapproves direct contacts between national Veterinary Services of some EU countries and the Rosselkhoznadzor. Considering interest of the agrarian sector and its peculiarities, these countries are ready to provide Russia with additional safety guarantees for product export from these territories.

In practice pork export from the European Union can be resumed only if veterinary certificates are issued by the Veterinary Service of the EU exporting country and they indicate that the country has been ASF free for the previous three years. Such practice has existed in the European Union for a long time - for instance, pork export from Finland to Hong Kong and China, from Italy to China and New Zealand, from Austria to Korea, from Belgium to Korea and China, etc.

Despite the fact that such practice exists in regard to other countries the European Commission bans European countries interested in pork export to the Russian market to issue bilateral veterinary certificates.

In this respect attempts to allocate responsibilities to Russia for suspension of pork product export from the EU to Russia itself looks, at least, strange.

Exactly, the European Commission’s standpoint resulted in suspension of pork product export to Russia and other EEU countries. Because of that fact Russian pork product importers had to search for pork export from other continents.

We also can’t agree with Mr. Hogan that Russian protective measures are “protectionist” or, as other European officials state, “excessive”.

Whereas, at the beginning of 2014 the European Commission assured the Rosselkhoznadzor that ASF outbreaks in Poland and Baltic countries were “sporadic” and taken measures for disease spread prevention were “effective” and in the shortest time would result in the disease eradication, today the number of ASF cases in Baltic countries and Poland exceeded 2,000 cases and the EU Veterinary Authorities consider the threat of the disease spread to Hungary, Slovakia, and Germany. Herewith, it is necessary to take into account both virus establishment in wild boar population in Poland and Baltic countries and absence of effective control and animal product tracing system in the internal European market. Therefore, risks existing as a result of the European Commission’s refusal to cooperate prove that restrictive measures imposed by the Rosselkhoznadzor were sound and adequate.

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