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More European Commission help for states most harmed by Russian veto

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Amid tumbling prices, the European Commission has promised further aid for member states most affected by the Russian ban blocking imports of certain EU products.

Its additional emergency measures for perishable fruit and vegetables will run until the end of next June. However, its total spending under existing such measure and the new scheme will remain below the €165 million it initially set as the maximum expenditure.

Based on historic export volumes to Russia in the last three years, it says it will now set new eligible volumes for the withdrawn from the market of certain fruit and vegetables for 12 member states.

EU agricultural commissioner Phil Hogan acknowledged that while the current exceptional support programme – which expire on December 31 – eased pressure on fruit and vegetable growers following the Russian ban, “a downward pressure on prices persists for some products in some regions of the EU.”

In a press release, the commission said the new scheme will apply to the 12 member states “which exported most fruit and vegetables to Russia on average during the January-May period (April to May for certain fruit where the January to March period was already covered by the previous measure) during the last three years.”

Before the ban, Spain’s fruit and vegetable sector alone sold “goods worth approximately EUR 225 million to Russia,” according to Spanish member of the European Parliament Esteban González Pons (PPE).

For more information on the EU measures:  Market support for perishable fruit & vegetable to continue in 2015”