OREANDA-NEWS  Increasing import duties on agricultural products from Russia and Belarus will not help European farmers, but will only clear a place for Ukrainian grain. Thus, the decision of the European Union (EU) to make products more expensive was appreciated by the permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the association, RIA Novosti reports.

The EU Council has ordered the introduction of protective customs duties on grain imported from Russia and Belarus from July 1. The decision will affect duties on cereals, oilseeds and products of their processing. At the same time, representatives of the authorities stressed that such a measure would not affect food exports to third countries, since it does not concern the transit of goods.

Russia's permanent representative to the EU said that such a step on the part of the association is the implementation of a trade and political instrument to protect its own economic interests in violation of the norms of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

"Without calling a spade a spade, the EU has actually imposed an import ban, which is essentially a perverse form of sanctions. There is nothing surprising in the decision taken — the European Union has long been protecting its own economic interests through illegal restrictions and protectionism. In recent years, sanctions have turned into a convenient trade and political tool for Brussels," the ministry explained.