Deutsche Welle: Belarus helps EU food producers skirt Russian sanctions

Every day Belarusian trucks come to a Polish dairy  to transport some 100,000 litres of milk back to Belarus, reports. Until recently this milk was directly sold to Russia. But after Moscow banned European food products from entering Russia, sales have tumbled by 30 %.

 ‘Our milk is processed in the cheese in Belarus and is sold to Russia and Kazakhstan, within the Eurasian Economic Union,’ the head of the dairy says.

Along with the dairy products, fruits and vegetables have also been hit by Russian boycott. Polish traders continue the trade with Russia on a smaller scale.

Deutsche Welle has met a businessman who claims to have ‘close connections’ to the Belarusian government. That’s why he asked to remain anonymous. In August alone, he said, some 4,000 trucks delivered EU fruits and veetables to Belarus and then to Russia.

‘Belarus is a transit country for EU products heading for Russia,’ he stated.

Trucks are still backed up at the Belarusian Polish border, some of them have to wait up to 24 hours. And Belarus is buying more than ever before: statistics show that Norway is selling four times as much salmon than it did before the embargo.

There’s no official record of thi additional agricultural imports. The Belarusian economy is planned by the state which doesn’t provide the relevant statistics, Deutsche Welle stresses.