Belarus plans to keep the amount of food produce it exports to Russia in 2017 at the same levels as last year according to BelTA, the state-owned national news agency of the landlocked Republic.
The head of foreign economic affairs at the Agriculture and Food Ministry, Alexei Bogdanov, said that Russia will remain a high-priority trade partner and the strategy is to preserve the volume of supplies reached in the previous years while looking to diversify the range of meat and dairy products.
The Ministry representative then, slightly at odds with his previous statement praised Russia’s import substitution policy as the right thing to do noting that Belarus did the same thing a couple of decades ago.
I spent some time in Belarus a couple of decades ago, I recollect import substitution was because the country was stone broke. (I also recall a late night boozed soaked dinner in what turned out to be a dark, freezing cold abattoir but that's a story for another time).
In a parting reference to Russia’s spurious suspension of various Belorussian meat and dairy products throughout 2016, Mr Bogdanov said that not a single country had complained about the quality and safety of our products.
In 2016 Belarus exported products to 58 countries including Africa, Singapore, the Philippines, Bulgaria, Serbia, Israel and the US.