MOSCOW, November 13 (Sputnik) — Russia's trade missions abroad assist Russian companies amid Western sanctions by ensuring that other firms are meeting their obligations under existing contracts, deputy Minister of Economic Development Alexei Likhachev told Sputnik Thursday.
"It is clear that the sanctions are not affecting contracts that were signed before the measures were applied. But there is a risk that some disreputable suppliers abroad will try to benefit from the situation by changing their position in the existing contracts. This is why trade missions help by assuring the mutual fulfillment of obligations and monitoring the situation so that sanctions do not become grounds for the unfair violation of our businessmen' rights," Likhachev said.
He added that following Russia's retaliatory measures to Western sanctions, which banned certain food imports from the European Union, the United States, Canada, Australia and Norway, the Russian government has initiated several business missions aimed at import substitution.
Lichkachev said that trade missions have sent over 3,000 contracts to Russian companies from countries, which have expressed their readiness to supply the produce Russia needs. Around 40 contracts have already been realized, securing imports of over 140 tons of produce from Turkey, Serbia, Argentina, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Belarus, Armenia, South African Republic, Vietnam, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.
Russian trade missions are the state authorities that represent Russia's interests abroad and ensure the effectiveness of Russia's participation in world economic relations. Currently, Russia has trade missions in 52 countries.