MOSCOW, 8 April (BelTA) –

Belarus has incurred losses instead of profits from the mutual sanctions of Russia and the European Union. Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei made the statement during the press conference in Moscow on 8 April when asked about how much Belarus has earned thanks to Russia’s embargo on Western foods, BelTA has learned. Vladimir Makei underlined that no side ever benefits from sanctions. Solutions should be found via negotiations, he added. The Minister noted that mass media cannot stop speculating about Belarus allegedly profiteering from the mutual Russia-EU sanctions. “As for how much Belarus has earned thanks to the sanctions, I am sorry to disappoint you. Last year Belarus-Russia trade dropped by nearly 30%,” said Vladimir Makei. He went on saying that Belarusian food export to Russia has increased a bit since after the sanctions were introduced, Belarus was asked by Russia to help out by selling more food. However, Belarusian food accounts for only 15% of Russia’s food import. “We have not saturated the Russian market with Belarusian foods,” noted Vladimir Makei. Speaking about exotic goods bearing the label “Made in Belarus”, the Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs explained once again that if a product has been processed in Belarus to a certain degree, the product is recognized as Belarus-made in line with Belarusian-Russian agreements and those signed within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union. Yet Vladimir Makei noted that vendors sometimes resort to shady schemes. Sometimes Russian importers get in bed with Western vendors. Belarus has reported such cases to Russia. “All in all, Belarus has lost $1 billion due to these sanctions instead of gaining the money,” concluded the Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs.
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