The European Union's anti-Russia sanctions have backfired, inflicting substantial damage on Dutch farmers. They have been unable to sell goods worth almost $750 million to Russia and are advocating normalization of EU-Moscow relations
MOSCOW, December 2 (Sputnik) — Dutch businesses are increasingly pressing the government and the European Union to pay compensation for losses incurred by the anti-Russia sanctions, Russian Trade Representative in the Netherlands Alexander Cherevko told RIA Novosti.
"Today Dutch business is more persistent in demanding the [Dutch] government and the European Union compensate for their losses.
Moreover, leading Dutch companies blame the government more frequently for supporting their competitors on the Russian market by backing the EU sanctions," Cherevko told RIA Novosti in an interview.
"Many Dutch companies actively advocate a normalization of relations with Russia to further develop their business," Cherevko continued, adding that the "companies are still viewing Russia as a big promising market".
According to the trade representative, Russia's countermeasures to western sanctions have hit Dutch agriculture hard.
Dutch farmers have been unable to sell goods worth almost $750 million in total to Russia as a result.
"The total loss of the Dutch agricultural producers… amounted to 1.5 billion euros [$1.87 billion], which is a very hard blow for the Dutch agricultural sector," Cherevko explained.
The European Union, alongside the United States and its other allies, has imposed several rounds of sanctions on Russia accusing it of meddling in Ukraine's internal affairs.
The sanctions target Russia's banking, defense and energy sectors, as well as certain individuals. In August, Russia responded to the Western sanctions by introducing a one-year ban on the import of certain food products from countries that had introduced the restrictive measures.
The responsive measures target beef, pork, fish, poultry, fruits and vegetables, and nuts, as well as dairy products from the United States, the European Union, Canada, Australia and Norway. Later some of the products that proved to be hard to substitute – such as certain seeds, food additives and lactose-free dairy products – were removed from the list.