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