Putin vows to continue supporting agribusiness after lifting of food embargo


Russian authorities will continue indirect support of agricultural producers but not at a large scale, President Vladimir Putin said during the annual televised question and answer session on Thursday.

"Not a direct support but an indirect one, which is not prohibited within the WTO framework. Certainly, it will continue but there should not be expected a large-scale and direct support," the president said.

The food embargo will be canceled after sanctions against Russia are lifted, Putin said. "Our government extended sanctions until the end of this year - until December 31. We will look at development of relations with countries that imposed sanctions against our economy. Regarding the endless continuation of any restrictions - if our partners start lifting sanctions in respect of our economy, then we will also have to do so, otherwise we will face problems within the WTO framework," the President added.

There is a need to create a competitive environment on the Russian market that will work in the interests of consumers and limit food prices hike, Putin said. Russian producers should improve labor productivity and production efficiency. Then they will be in a more favorable situation versus Western competitors on account of lower logistical expenses, he added.

Chinese market

Vladimir Putin said that he would agree with the Chinese side on opening China’s market for Russian pork and poultry producers.

"Our domestic poultry and pork production covers actually all our needs. Moreover, we are now looking for sales markets," the Russian president said.

"I’m now negotiating with our Chinese friends so that they open China’s market for our pork and poultry producers," Putin said.

Russian Agriculture Minister Alexander Tkachyov earlier told TASS that Russia might start poultry deliveries to China until the end of 2017. The negotiations on the admission of Russian meat, including pork and poultry, to the Chinese market, are in their most active phase. The talks on Russian poultry supplies are proceeding at the fastest pace, he added.


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