Russia has banned the imports of Belarusian beef. On April 4, deliveries of bone-in beef and live cattle from the countries that do not have the official status of the International Epizootic Bureau on bovine encephalopathy were temporarily restricted, according to the Rosselkhoznadzor press service statement. Belarus is set to lose hundreds of millions of US dollars due to this decision of Moscow. Last year about 150 thousand tons of beef worth $ 518 million were supplied to Russia.
The Ministry of Agriculture of Belarus hopes for the resumption of supplies. Head of the Foreign Economic Activity Directorate General Alyaksei Bahdanau told BelTA that "there is nothing wrong with that." According to him, cases of spongiform encephalopathy have never been recorded in Belarus. To confirm this, regional veterinary laboratories are receiving new equipment.
Mr Bahdanau emphasizes that about 70% of all Belarusian beef exports were bone-in beef. About 30% are ready to be delivered now. “For Belarus, it is even more profitable, because we will process the meat to the final product and export it chilled and frozen,” says a ministry spokesman. “We will create jobs, increase the volume of boned meat and supply it at higher prices to Russia." Thus, only the structure of supply will change, according to the official. Alyaksei Bahdanau admits that enterprises may initially have difficulty working according to a new scheme. But "they can cope. This is not a big deal," he says.