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Belarus to stop importing certain foods from unfriendly countries starting 1 January

MINSK (BelTA) – On 1 January 2022 Belarus will introduce a food embargo against a number of products from countries, which take unfriendly actions against the Belarusian state, the press service of the Belarusian government told BelTA as it commented on the Council of Ministers' resolution No.700 “On the application of special measures in relation to certain types of goods” of 6 December 2021.

According to the source, the Belarusian government has taken measures in response to continued attempts of the collective West to use sanctions to pressure the country. In line with the Council of Ministers' resolution a food embargo will be introduced on 1 January 2022 against a broad range of goods made in the countries, which pursue a discriminative policy and take unfriendly actions against Belarus. In January-October 2021 alone Belarus imported over $530 million worth of food and food commodities from such countries. The products that constitute the core of this import will be embargoed starting next year.

The prohibition will apply to a number of imports from the European Union and its member states, from the United States of America, Canada, Norway, Albania, Iceland, North Macedonia, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Montenegro, and Switzerland.

The list of prohibited goods includes pigs, meat of cattle, pork, a number of byproducts, salted meat, meat in brine, dried or smoked meat, food flour from meat or meat by-products, milk and dairy products (with some exceptions), vegetables other than those intended for sowing, fruits and nuts, pork fat and poultry fat, fat of cattle, fat of sheep or goats, lard stearin and other animal oils, sausages and similar products, confectionery, salt and other goods.

The Belarusian government press service said: “Interests of Belarusian citizens still remain the most important priority for Belarus. The head of state has repeatedly called for taking reciprocal measures without hurting the population. This is why the Council of Ministers' resolution contains a number of exemptions. In particular, it will not apply to goods, which Belarusians import for personal consumption. It will not apply, for instance, to baby food and a number of other critical imports either.”

At the same time measures will be taken to balance the consumer market, including by satisfying the demand with products of Belarusian make. Importers, producers, and retail chains will be encouraged to replace the goods, which are not made in Belarus, with imports from friendly countries.

Belarus retains the right to expand the list of prohibited goods if more destructive actions are taken against the country.

A regulation on quotas for importing certain kinds of goods was also passed.