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    Baltic, Finnish Farmers Hit by Russian Food Ban Planning Protest Campaign

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    Finnish and Baltic farmers will be distributing milk bottles with calls for help among European politicians as part of their two-week protest campaign that will start in Brussels on Wednesday.

    RIGA, December 1 (Sputnik) — Farmers from Finland and Baltic countries that are suffering losses as a result of Russia's countermeasures to western sanctions will begin a two-week protest campaign in Brussels on Wednesday, the Latvian Agricultural Cooperatives Association said Monday

    "It will not be a street protest, but demonstrative well-coordinated negotiations with representatives of the European Commission and European Parliament. The farmers will also be distributing among European politicians milk bottles with signs [containing information] about a catastrophic situation in the sphere and calls for help," Sabine Puke, the association's press secretary said.

    Each country taking part in the protest campaign will be represented by four farmers.

    Last week, the European Commission allocated financial support to the dairy producers of the Baltic states, with Estonia receiving 6.9 million euro (about $8.6 million), Latvia — 7.7 million euro ($9.6 million) and Lithuania – 14.1 million euro ($17.6 million). The sums were calculated based on each country's milk production levels for 2013-2014 within national quotas.

    The European Union, alongside the United States, has imposed several rounds of economic sanctions on Russia accusing it of meddling in Ukraine's internal affairs. The sanctions target Russia's banking, defense and energy sectors, as well as certain individuals.

    In August, Russia responded to the Western sanctions by introducing a one-year ban on the import of certain food products from countries that had introduced the restrictive measures. The responsive measures target beef, pork, fish, poultry, fruits and vegetables, and nuts, as well as dairy products from the United States, the European Union, Canada, Australia and Norway. Later some of the produce that proved to be hard to substitute – such as certain seeds, food additives and lactose-free dairy products – was removed from the list.


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