Italy Has Found a Way to Bypass the Food Embargo

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Russia will be able to start producing Italian cheese, fish, oil, sugar and other food products
Originally appeared at Izvestia. Translated by Julia Rakhmetova

Italy will help Russia’s food import substitution problem, however paradoxical this sounds. This year the two countries will start common agricultural projects that the Russian Ministry of agriculture suggest to its Italian colleagues.

We’re talking about building agricultural complexes, lines of food products including cheese, logistics and distribution projects to be implemented with Italian investment and technology. As Italian Deputy Minister of Agriculture Giuseppe Castiglione said to Izvestia, the projects will start in October.

The Russian Ministry of Agriculture offered the Italian Agricultural Ministry 29 investment projects in nine Russian regions: (the Bashkortostan Republic, Kabardino-Balkaria, the Krasnodar, Belgorod, Voronezh, Kostroma, Moscow, Orenburg and Tambov regions). Italy began to develop its own proposals that will be presented soon. Under the sanctions and embargo on food that cost Italian agricultural producers about €900 million, they can export investments and technology.

Izvestia got a look at projects in many areas. According to a source close to the government, with the help of Italy, Russia hopes to set up production lines of Gorgonzola and ricotta cheese as well as turkey feed, trout farms, vegetables and fruit.

Deputy Italian Minister of Agriculture, Giuseppe Castiglione said that Italy is very interested in these projects, and plans to present its vision at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in June. There will be another meeting in October when implementation will begin. Italy will provide an unspecified level of investment.

— We are very interested in overcoming the hard times due to the sanctions, first by improving the productivity of Russian agriculture, using technology, innovation and know-how. Secondly, we are planning to extend our own companies’ potential for international cooperation, – Giuseppe Castiglione told Izvestia.

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