Belarusian, Russian agriculture ministries okay concept for unified agrarian policy

The agriculture ministries of Russia and Belarus approved a conception for a unified agrarian policy at a joint collegium meeting Wednesday in Minsk, an Interfax correspondent reported from the meeting.

The conception is to be submitted for confirmation by the Council of Ministers of the Union State of Russia and Belarus.

Russian Agriculture Minister Yelena Skrynnik said that the adoption of the conception and the creation of a unified customs space will make it possible to "bring bilateral cooperation to the agrarian sphere at a qualitatively new level, increase the reliability and effectiveness of the development of the two countries' agro-industrial complexes, and ensure the population has the food it needs."

Belarusian Minister of Agriculture and Food Mikhail Rusy said the countries "have built a logistical chain for the creation of inter-state cooperation."

Among the agreements reached, Rusy noted the coordination of unified principles for providing agriculture with state support. These say that the application of state support measures that have a distorting effect on trade in agricultural products will be restricted to 10% of their gross cost. He praised the Russian agriculture ministry's support, which allowed Belarus the right to reduce that level gradually over six years.

Noting the positive aspect of the agreement, Skrynnik said that "issues involving pricing disparity, with dairy products for example, will automatically be removed."


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