Agriculture ministers of Poland and Belarus are set to meet for talks on Thursday in the wake of Russia’s food products import ban, Poland's deputy agriculture minister, Tadeusz Nalewajk, said on Tuesday.
Discussions between Marek Sawicki and Leonid Zayats will focus on supplies of Polish foodstuffs that would normally be exported to Russia.
“Poland could import to Belarus almost as many apples as it supplies to the European Union,” Nalewajk said.
Poland is by far the leading exporter of apples in Europe, ahead of Italy and France. In 2013, the European Union purchased some 257 tons of apples, worth about 92 million euro, from Poland.
Nalewajk said a large number of perishable goods such as fruit and vegetables would also be sent to Plish food banks to be distributed to poor and needy residents.
Russia announced a ban on most fruit and vegetable imports from Poland at the end of July, which it extended to the entire European Union later, limiting imports of agricultural goods from countries that imposed sanctions on Moscow. Warsaw called the move retaliation by the Kremlin for new sanctions imposed a day earlier by the West on Russia over its role in the Ukraine crisis.