Kyrgyzstan Prime Minister Joomart Otorbayev has ordered the republic’s Agriculture Ministry to increase exports in the wake of Russia's ban on produce from Western countries.
“Considering that Russia has imposed an embargo on imports of vegetables and fruit from the European Union and the United States, we should strengthen our export potential,” Otorbayev was quoted as saying on Friday by his press service. “The Agriculture Ministry should carefully and quickly examine the possibility of agricultural exports to Russia.”
The prime minister said that a huge market worth $50 billion had opened up for Kyrgyz exports following Russia’s sanctions decision.
“In this connection, we should produce as many quality goods as possible and be ready to start supplying them to Russia at any time,” he said.
Kyrgyzstan Deputy Economy Minister Sanzhar Mukanbetov said on Friday the republic was ready to supply Russia with milk and dairy products, poultry and eggs, beef, onion, potato and other agricultural products, adding that the government had already started organising meetings between representatives of leading Russian retail chains and Kyrgyz entrepreneurs.
On Thursday, Russia announced suspension of billions of dollars in food imports from Norway, Canada, Australia, the United States and the 28-nation European Union in retaliation for sanctions imposed by those nations in recent weeks.
The ban, targeting all beef, pork, fish, fruit, vegetables and dairy products over the next 12 months, is expected to seriously affect Western economies.
Combined with other import bans imposed earlier this year, the new trade measures cover Western imports worth $9.1 billion in 2013, according to Russian customs data. Among the main victims are Dutch cheese, Norwegian salmon and Spanish fruit and vegetables.