European farmers' sanction compensation limited: minister

2nd September 2014, Comments 0 comments

Germany's agriculture minister warned on Tuesday that European farmers hit by a Russian import ban would not receive full "one-to-one" compensation, ahead of talks with his French and Polish counterparts.

"Compensation in the sense of support, yes. To better get a grip on the market, yes," Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt said in an interview on Deutschlandfunk public radio.

"But compensation sounds as if one then pays something for each apple. Yes, it will be, but not the totality," he added.

He said he wanted to avoid people getting the wrong impression that "there would be one-to-one compensation. There can't be that".

Schmidt is due to meet French Agriculture Minister Stephane Le Foll and their Polish counterpart Marek Sawiki later Tuesday in the western city of Bonn to discuss the impact of the Russian ban on the sector.

The Russian embargo, announced last month, was in retaliation for US and European sanctions over Moscow's alleged role in separatist violence in eastern Ukraine.

Set to last for a year, the Russian ban covers imports of meats, fruits and vegetables, fish and dairy products from the European Union, the United States, Australia, Canada and Norway.

The EU announced last week further measures to help European farmers affected by the Russian import ban, expanding aid to dairy products after initial steps to help certain fruits and vegetables.

Poland, the leading exporter of apples in Europe, has urged Poles to eat more apples to support its producers and has asked the US to open its market quickly to Polish apples.

Schmidt also urged people to consume more fruit.

"Eat! You should eat, I should eat, we should eat... Beginning in the early morning, five times a day," he said.


© 2014 AFP

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