Russia needs Italian cheese: Parmesan made in Minsk?

Kremlin has placed several restrictions on import of cheese from parts of Italy. But parmigiano reggiano and and grana padano are still essential ingredients in many restaurants in Moscow and St. Petersburg
Russia needs Italian cheese: Parmesan made in Minsk?

Italy supply only 2 percent of Russia’s total cheese import. Indeed, Russia’s 140 million inhabitants consume only 10 tons of high-end hard cheese each month. In 2013 Russia got 21 per cent of its imported cheese from Germany, 21 per cent from Ukraine, 12 per cent from Lithuania, 12 per cent from Netherlands, 10 per cent from Finland and 8 per cent from Poland.

According to a government report obtained by ITAR-Tass, when Russia retaliated to the sanctions of Western countries – designed to force Russian to abandon support for separatist rebels fighting in eastern Ukraine – with food import bans against them, it cut the supply of 30 percent of the cheese consumed in Russia, or 263¸000 tons per year. This volume will need replacing, either with new import or domestic production. But milk already costs 30 percent more in Russia than in Europe, according to Federal Customs Service data.

Since cheese from West cannot be substituted quickly by Russian producers, it is expected that Belarus and Kazakhstan, which together are members of the Eurasian Economic Union, will try to import Western products and resell them in the custom free zone to Russia. There is no clear way to answer this until now.

See also:

© All rights reserved