Officials of the Republic of Belarus have recently announced that they may impose a ban on the import of some goods of Ukrainian origin, particularly sunflower oil, corn and soybean meal.
The press service of the State Veterinary and Phytosanitary Service of Ukraine (Gosvetfitosluzhba) reported the outcome of a meeting between Ivan Bisyuk, president of the Gosvetfitosluzhba, and Yury Pyvovarchyk, first deputy director of the department of Veterinary and Food at the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Belarus.
The press service also reported that Belarus, as a member of the Customs Union, told Ukraine that it will ask for support from Russia and Kazakhstan to initiate similar bans on the import of some Ukrainian products.
These actions of Belarus are a response to the recent ban imposed by Ukraine on the import of almost all livestock products from Belarus.
According to representatives of Gosvetfitosluzhba, the main reason for introducing such a ban was not because of an outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF) that veterinarians reported a couple weeks ago, but on account of the use of antibiotics in excess above allowable limit.
“According to Ukrainian law, which meets European requirements, the presence of antibiotics in the finished products is not allowed.
"The Ukrainian side has repeatedly sent official warning letters and recommendations [to Belarus] to correct the violations. The department of Veterinary and Food under the Ministry of Agriculture did not respond to comments, while in February this year the revealed cases of antibiotics in dairy production became widespread,” said Bisyuk.
If Russia and Kazakhstan support Belarus in the initiative to ban imports of animal feed ingredients from the Ukraine, experts agree that such an initiative would deprive Ukraine of its most important sales markets; immediately affecting the profitability of the industry.