BRUSSELS, August 7 (RIA Novosti) – Lithuania would like to discuss how the European Union will compensate for losses over Russia’s ban on the import of food products from the bloc, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius told RIA Novosti Thursday.
“We will hold consultations in regard to this issue. When we decide, we’ll announce it then. Right now it’s difficult to talk about this,” Linkevičius said.
In regard to whom consultations would be held with, Linkevičius said that “if there are collective risks, collective losses, then usually collective solutions are searched for. That’s why this union exists in order to collectively coordinate these actions, so we won’t rush, we’ll thoroughly examine this and make a decision.”
The minister also said he did not rule out that the 28-member union could discuss turning to the World Trade Organization (WTO), an international trade regulator, to put pressure on Russia to lift its newest food embargo.
Russia has long been one of Lithuania’s major dairy markets (3,000 tons worth $7.3 million), according to the Russian Federal Customs Service.
On Thursday, Russia unveiled its list of banned agriculture products from the United States and countries that imposed US-backed sanctions against Russia earlier. The one-year ban will target imports of beef, pork, fish, poultry, fruits, vegetables, nuts, as well as cheese and other dairy from the European Union, Canada, Australia and Norway. The embargo does not include alcoholic beverages, infant foods and products.
At the height of the Ukrainian crisis, the United States imposed several rounds of sanctions against Russian officials, business people and companies and pressed for the allies in the West to follow its lead. The European Union, Canada, and Australia soon caved in to the US sanctions push and drew up their own blacklists.
Moscow said it is ready to review the terms of its import restrictions if Western partners show commitment to dialogue. The Kremlin has repeatedly called Western sanctions counterproductive and stressed that Russia was never involved in the Ukrainian conflict.