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Ruud Huirne,Rabobank:

"The Netherlands Rabobank: "Russian boycott was planned"

The Rabobank in the Netherlands supports Dutch companies that are affected by the Russian boycott. This is explained by Ruud Huirne, director of Good & Agri from the Dutch Rabobank. It is important to notice that only the companies that are dealing with problems due to the boycott are supported by the Rabobank. Companies that were dealing with problems before the Boycott do not receive support. According to Ruud Huirne, "It serves no purpose to support these companies."

The boycott was not a surprise. Ruud Huirne said that the boycott was prepared in advance by the Russians. According to him, Russia can easily survive without the imported products. "The boycott only affects products that they are able to produce themselves or can be easily imported. This applies not only for fruit and vegetables, but also meat and dairy products. Companies and exporters from various countries have been contacted and softening of contract terms has been discussed. This was all part of the preparation." "The airplane crash was more a reason than a cause of the situation. After the crash a strong foundation was established for the European sanctions and the Russian boycott is a reaction on that."

The new trading partners of Russia will be the former Soviet countries like, Tajikistan, Armenia and Belarus, but also, for example, China and Brazil. "Perhaps, less quality products or less products will be available in Russia, but the new contracts are currently being drawn up. Soon, these countries will supply Russia instead of Europe or the United States."

The Dutch Rabobank supports the Dutch companies. However, this is for the short term. Due to this support, the companies are able to wait for support measurements. According to Huirne, these measurements have to be provided by Europe. In the meantime, companies need to limit the damage by investigating the possibilities to remove products form the market and by searching for new markets.

According to Huirne, the problem will not be solved by supporting countries on a national level. Huirne refers to the EHEC crisis and compares it with the current situation, even though the boycott is much broader. “We have learned that the European countries have to act together." This means that growers, not only from a specific country, but from all affected countries should receive support.

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