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Holland Beware! Russia Toying With Ban on Importing EU Flowers

Dutch flower trade to Russia amounted to over $300 million in 2014 and over $200 million in 2013

Russia is a large country in a northern climate. As such it's not surprising it is among the world's top importers of flowers. 

Netherlands continues to supply the absolute majority of these - up to 70%

Netherlands is also part of EU sanctions regime against Russia. The Russian response to EU sanctions has been to enact a ban on food imports from EU putting strain on EU's highly-subsidized agricultural sector. 

Russia's new Agriculture Minister Alexander Tkachev, however, has now suggested Russia should consider expanding the ban to cover confectionery, canned fish and cut flowers. 

This will be unwelcome news for Dutch agriculture which has already been greatly impacted by Russian counter-sanctions. It is estimated Dutch agriculturalists were unable to export over $500 million of goods (chiefly vegetables, dairy products and prepared food) to Russia in 2014 that they had been able to in 2013. 

The Russian talk of expanding sanctions comes in the wake of recent EU decision to prolong its sanctions against Russia and assets freezes in Belgium and France - as well as continued NATO military build up in Eastern Europe.

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