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Russia Cracks Down On Food Imports From Belarus

Russia Cracks Down On Food Imports From Belarus

The border conflict between Russia and Belarus continues. Russia state agriculture watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor announced on Friday that two major cheese factories had received official warnings over the use of the preservative natamycin, reports The Moscow Times.

Food smuggling has become big business since Russia banned European food imports in response to Western sanctions over Russia’s annexation of the Crimean Peninsula and the war in East Ukraine. Russia will now ‘track’ all Belarusian food imports into the Russian Federation in a bid to prevent ‘miracle harvests’ where Belarus exports 5x its yearly harvest.

The Rogachev and Oshmiany cheese factories will see their products barred from Russia if inspectors find further violations, Russian tabloid Izvestia reported Friday.

The Russian security service, the FSB, has announced it is tightening border controls in the Smolensk and Pskov regions. Russian watchdogs also accuse Belarus of exporting sub-standard food. Russia says its actions are mainly aimed at protecting ‘food quality.’ However, the ongoing conflict with ‘White Rus’ or Belarus, regarding energy payments seems to be the underlying reason for the actions.

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