Opinions Vary on Impact of Russian Food Ban on Bulgaria
The Russian ban on food imports from the EU would hit Bulgaria’s economy, experts agree. However, they differ on the extent of the potential damage.
On Thursday, Russia banned food imports from the EU, US, Australia, Canada and Norway in response to Western sanctions imposed over Moscow’s support for Ukrainian rebels.
According to Vasil Vasilev, founder of the Union of Employers in Bulgaria and its first chairman, the retaliatory step by Moscow will hit Bulgaria very hard not so much because of the halt in Bulgarian food exports to Russia, “which are not big anyway.”
The bigger danger, Vasilev told Focus radio station on Friday, is that EU farm products so far destined for export to Russia will be shipped to Bulgaria and “destroy our already weak agriculture sector.”
The Chairman of the Association of Bulgarian Exporters Ivo Todorov was more optimistic but acknowledged the Russian trade ban could lead to a fall in fruit and vegetable prices in Europe due to oversupply, as finding export destinations other than Russia will take time.
Even though there can be no serious concerns that Bulgaria’s economy will suffer a direct hit from the Russian food ban, the global tensions associated with it will have a negative impact on Bulgaria’s economy “for a number of other reasons”, Todorov commented for Bulgaria on Air TV channel.