Government to assess effects of retaliatory sanctions

Government to assess effects of retaliatory sanctions

Government Communications Department
Press release 308/2014

The Russian Government has banned certain agricultural and food imports to Russia. The ban covers certain meats, meat products and meat subproducts, milk and dairy products (including cheese), root vegetables, vegetables, fruit and nuts, food products based on vegetable oil, and fish, shellfish, scallops and other aquatic invertebrates from the EU, the United States, Canada, Australia and Norway. The import ban is to last for a year from its announcement.

"It was to be expected that Russia would respond to the sanctions issued by the EU. The impact of the Russian sanctions on the Finnish economy and Finnish businesses must be carefully examined before the government budget session. I will give a Prime Minister’s announcement to Parliament as soon as it convenes. The measures will affect a number of other EU countries and the Russians themselves, too," said Prime Minister Alexander Stubb.

"Finland will continue diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis both with its EU partners and through bilateral means," Stubb said.

The products targeted by the Russian import ban represent approximately 5 per cent of Finland's exports to Russia and approximately 0.5 per cent of Finland's total exports.

"Russia is our food industry's main export area. Dairy products account for about 87 per cent of our exports to Russia as regards the products on the list of banned imports. We will hold a meeting today at the ministry to discuss measures to minimise the effects of the Russian import ban and to open new export markets," said Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Petteri Orpo.

The Government also intends to discuss the retaliatory sanctions directly with Finnish businesses.

"I am very concerned about the effects of the Russian retaliatory sanctions on individual companies. I will personally visit the companies that are hit the hardest by the measures," said Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade Lenita Toivakka.

Inquiries: Markku Keinänen, Director General, Department for External Economic Affairs, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, tel. +35850 441 0154, and Pete Pokkinen, Special Adviser to the Prime Minister (Press Relations), tel. +358 40 756 7180, Miika Tomi, Press Attaché to the Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade, tel. +358 50 574 0507, Tiina Rytilä, Special Adviser to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, tel. +358 40 566 6649 and Suvi Aherto, Special Adviser to the Prime Minister(as regards the visit to the Jyväskylä Housing Fair), tel. +358 50 349 6121