19:34 GMT17 January 2021
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    The biggest share will be allocated to the support of the dairy sector.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — EU agriculture ministers agreed on Monday to disburse 500 million euro (almost $560 million) in additional funds to European farmers amid sliding food prices and cheap imports, the European Commission said in a press statement.

    "This package will allow for €500 million of EU funds to be used for the benefit of farmers immediately," Commission’s Vice President for Competitiveness Jyrki Katainen said.

    He described the decision as a "robust" response to the acute problems faced by EU farmers. "This response demonstrates that the Commission takes its responsibility towards farmers very seriously and is prepared to back it up with the appropriate funds," he stressed.

    Katainen said that the bigger share of the EU funds will go to supporting the dairy sector.

    The comprehensive aid package was unveiled at an emergency meeting in Brussels as thousands of angry farmers rallied in the Belgian capital to protest slumping food prices, increased production costs and the consequences of Russia’s ban on EU food imports.

    The European Union spends 50 billion euro annually to offset the cost of Russia’s restrictions on European farm produce, which followed EU sanctions on Moscow over its alleged role in the Ukrainian crisis.

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    Tags:
    dairy products, farmers, agriculture, European Commission, Jyrki Katainen, Brussels
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