Enjoying ad-free content?
Since July 1, 2024, we have disabled all ads to improve your reading experience.
This commitment costs us $10,000 a month. Your support can help us fill the gap.
Support us
Our journalism is banned in Russia. We need your help to keep providing you with the truth.

Russia Cracks Down on Belarusian Food Imports


Russian officials could soon start targeting Belarusian cheese in a new crackdown on food imports.

State agriculture watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor announced on Friday that two major cheese factories had received official warnings over the use of the preservative natamycin.

The Rogachev and Oshmiany cheese factories will see their products barred from Russia if inspectors find further violations, Russian tabloid Izvestia reported Friday.

Russia announced last month that it would start tracking all Belarusian food imports as they crossed the border in a bid to “boost food quality.”

It is also seen as a way of fighting smugglers seeking to cash in on Russian sanctions against the EU by sneaking embargoed Western food products into Russia using Belarusian documents.

The phenomenon has led to several “miracle harvests,” with Belarus exporting five times more apples in 2015 than the country officially harvested. 

The head of Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) also signed an order introducing stricter border controls in Russia's Bryansk, Smolensk and Pskov regions at the start of February.

Minsk has repeatedly denied allegations of widespread smuggling and sub-standard produce, instead claiming that below-par products are being loaded onto Belarusian import trucks within Russia itself.

Critics also claim that the increased border controls breaks existing treaties and will harm Russian-Belarusian ties.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more