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World’s farmers speak a common language

2015.01.30

«Green week 2015» became the first international agricultural forum which took place in the context of mutual sanctions between Russia and the West. How was the Russian delegation received in Berlin in these circumstances and did the politicians achieve the agreement that agricultural producers dream of?

By Svetlana WEBER

15 regions and 200 companies presented their agricultural achievements as well as investment projects and scientific developments in the Russian pavilion.

As a result of the efficient interaction, the participants signed 14 agreements in the amount of 102 million Euro. Moreover, some Memorandums of Cooperation, both between Russian regions and federal lands of Germany and between professional associations were successfully concluded. For example, German Farmers Union and AKKOR signed the application for extension of cooperation.

‘The main focus in our cooperation is on the development and implementation of joint educational programs, holding workshops, consulting and sharing experience’, says Vladimir Plotnikov, President of AKKOR.

Participants of the German-Russian Agricultural and Political Dialogue project, including Sergey Belousov, First Deputy Chairman of the Committee of the Council of the Federation for Agricultural and Food Policy and Environmental Management, visited the booths of the federal lands of Bavaria and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. The senator underlined that at all meetings the participants discussed the urgent necessity to continue cooperation in all areas. Mr. Bakhause, Minister of Agriculture of the federal land of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania supported this idea.

‘We cannot imagine Europe without Russia in it!’ – underlined the Minister.

By the way, it was Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania that held the Day of Russia even after the embargo on food imports was imposed. It caused a massive public outcry all over the world. Tatiana Gubina, Vice-president of the Russian Potato Union spoke of the new kinds of cooperation. She offered the German party to do the potato seed growing in Russia in order to mitigate the impacts of the sanctions.

Nikolay Fedorov, the Minister of Agriculture of the Russian Federation announced within the frame of the press conference that Russia’s potential is in high demand on the world market despite all complications. This was clearly shown at the meetings with the colleague from European countries.

 

‘Nobody wants any sanctions or complication of the political situation around Russia. There are many offers from various countries of the world in the areas of activity which do not fall under the sanctions and embargo.’

Regrets regarding the worsening of the trade and political relations and hope that all this will soon come to an end were the theme line of the trade show wherever the representatives of Russia met their German partners. It seems that the agricultural producers, the entrepreneurs, and the business circles consider it necessary to develop and enhance the cooperation with Russia. However, the “big league” of politics is against it. Stefan Dürr, President of EkoNiva Group, expressed the same opinion.

‘There is some tension in the relationship but much less than I worried. It is easier for agricultural producers to find a common language, regardless of the fact that it was the European farmers that mostly suffered from the embargo. However, they show a great understanding for the situation. Nevertheless, the higher the rank of the politician, the less understanding they show. Many people in the West think that the first step must be made by Putin, but I am confident that the key to solving all the controversies is in Merkel’s hands.’  

According to Stefan Dürr, many German companies realize that now, in these complicated circumstances, it is the best time to invest in Russia, therefore, they enhance their presence in Russia.

‘The fact that Russia needs modern Western machinery and technologies is evident’, says Stefan Dürr. ‘However, the European technologies cannot just be imported into Russia, they must develop within the country now. For example, it is necessary to produce hybrids of sunflower, corn, and sugar beets in Russia, and our company is ready to move in this direction and start the hybridization’.