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Farmers 'not to get full sanction compensation'

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Farmers 'not to get full sanction compensation'
Photo: DPA
08:12 CEST+02:00
Germany's agriculture minister warned on Tuesday that European farmers hit by a Russian food import ban would not receive full compensation, ahead of talks with his French and Polish counterparts.

"Compensation in the sense of support, yes. To better get a grip on the market, yes," Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt said in an interview on public radio.

"But compensation sounds as if one then pays something for each apple," he added.

He said he wanted to avoid people getting the wrong impression that "there would be one-to-one compensation. There can't be that."

Schmidt later met French Agriculture Minister Stephane Le Foll and his Polish counterpart Marek Sawicki in the western city of Bonn to discuss the impact of the Russian ban on the sector.

"Our aim must be to minimise the impact for those concerned" and also find new markets to cushion against future crises, Schmidt said in a statement after the meeting.

It is already noticeable that Russia is departing from its initial plan and is authorising certain products to enter the market, he added.

The three ministers met to agree a common stance ahead of a wider gathering of EU agriculture ministers in Brussels on Friday.

The Russian embargo, announced last month, was in retaliation for US and European sanctions over Moscow's alleged role in separatist rebellion in eastern Ukraine.

Set to last for a year, the Russian ban covers imports of meats, fruits and vegetables, fish and dairy products from the European Union, the United States, Australia, Canada and Norway.

The EU announced last week further measures to help European farmers affected by the Russian import ban, expanding aid to dairy producers after initial steps to help certain fruit and vegetable growers.

Poland, the leading exporter of apples in Europe, has urged its population to eat more apples to support its producers and has asked the US to open its market quickly to Polish apples.

Schmidt also urged people to consume more fruit.

"Eat! You should eat, I should eat, we should eat... Beginning in the early morning, five times a day," he said in the radio interview.

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