Russia plans to boycott Dutch dairy products

Russia is considering introducing a temporary import ban on Dutch dairy products, the Volkskrant reports.

The ban would affect 13 dairy companies, including subsidiaries of FrieslandCampina and Leerdammer, and come into effect on December 19.

According to the Russian food inspectorate, the companies concerned have shortcomings. For instance, they want companies to build fences around their factories and to stop unloading milk in the open air.

The Russians say these shortcomings are a result of poor controls in the Netherlands. They are particularly concerned that the Dutch food inspectorate NVVA has privatised control of the dairy sector and want this returned to civil servants, says the Volkskrant.

The economic affairs ministry told the paper the chances of this happening ‘have become greater’ following a ‘constructive negotiation’ between the two parties.

The relationship between the Netherlands and Russia has been strained throughout the year because of a series of incidents, including the arrest of the Greenpeace activists, a Russian boycott of potatoes and the arrest in The Hague of a Russian diplomat.

In 2012, exports of dairy products to Russia were worth €150m, according to sector organisation NZO. This is 2.5% of total Dutch dairy exports.

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