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The EU is expected to extend sanctions against Russia on Thursday, December 21. Since they were introduced in 2014, sanctions as well as Moscow’s food exports ban have been a headache for European farmers, who have repeatedly protested against them. Sputnik takes a look at some of the most remarkable moments from those protests in recent years.
During a meeting of European Union agriculture ministers on January 23, 2017, milk farmers gathered in Brussels to protest against the EU's policies towards the industry. As a consequence of Russian counter-sanctions, the EU's milk industry saw milk prices collapse as a result of the surplus. During the protest, a ton of powdered milk was sprayed against the European Council building.
In July 2015, local farmers released three pigs in a supermarket in the French city of Agen, protesting against the government policy amid an agricultural crisis. One of the factors behind the crisis was the effects of Russia’s food export embargo, a responsive measure to Western sanctions.
Live pigs are dumped in supermarkets as protesting French farmers cause more chaos
In March 2016, over 3,000 Finnish farmers along with 600 tractors protested in Helsinki against the government’s agriculture and food policy. The country’s farming industry suffered from falling prices and EU’s sanctions against Russia, a key export market for Finnish agricultural producers.
Farmers with their tractors from different parts of the country participate in a demonstration in Helsinki, Finland, Friday, March 11, 2016.
In September 2014, hundreds of Polish farmers marched through Warsaw, protesting against Russian sanctions. The Polish economy took a hit due to the Russian food ban. Poland is the largest apple producer in the EU, and in 2013 56 percent of Polish apple exports went to the Russian market.
In August 2014, in Spain, protesting farmers burned an EU flag, calling to lift anti-Russian sanctions.
In September 2015, Belgian farmers protested against the government agricultural policy and called to remove sanctions against Russia. Protesters threw eggs at police officers.
In February 2016, angry French farmers besieged the town of Vannes in Brittany and blocked roads across western and northern France to protest against collapsing milk and pork prices caused by anti-Russian economic measures.
In September 2015, French farmers blocked the streets of Paris with over 1,500 tractors to protest over plunging food prices and soaring costs, with anti-Russian sanctions being one of the factors behind their problems.
In November 2014, some 100 tons of manure were dumped in front of a local administration building in Chartres in northern France, as part of a wave of protest by French farmers over sluggish economy and falling prices, which were in particularly driven by the food embargo imposed on the EU by Russia in response to economic sanctions.
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