The Norwegian Foreign Minister Børge Brende has called Russia's decision to ban importans of Norwegian seafood "completely unreasonable".
Russia has, as Nortrade reported yesterday, announced a ban on food from the EU, US, Canada, Australia and Norway. Brende told press yesterday that it is too early to determine what the consequences will be for the Norwegian food exports industry, and in particular the seafood segment.
“We’re going through these measures together with the EU and other affected nations, and we will together evaluate how we can best deal with this,” Brende said in a statement issued by the foreign ministry on Thursday afternoon, after Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev announced the import bans Thursday morning. The bans are due to take effect immediately.
“Instead of contributing towards easing the conflict in eastern Ukraine, Russia continues to maintain and strengthen it,” Brende said, claiming that “considerable amounts of weapons” were moving over the border from Russia to Ukraine. “It is critical that Russia be met with a wide-reaching and clear reaction from the international community.”
The Norwegian export industry has previously endured bans from Russia, which at the time lead the EU and US to open their markets and import more Norwegian good. Are Kvistad from the industry association FHL (Fisheries and marine industries) told media that “The picture isn’t yet clear, but all indications are that Norwegian seafood exports will be hit hard.”
Kvistad noted that it will probably be possible for Norway to export more to its allies as the demand for Norwegian salmon remains high.