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Belarusian food products in Russia and Baltics: Why opinions of buyers and inspectors differ

Taste of Belarusian bread will soon be world-famous! Some days ago, the Belarusian side signed a contract for the supply of Belarusian bread to Indonesia and Israel.

Bakeries introduce shock freezing in order to maintain the quality and taste of the main Belarusian product. The traditional ‘cooling’ of attitude to Belarusian products on the Russian market, however, was not a shock. This often happens before New Year holidays.

Tatiana Sayganova, deputy of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus:
Belarusian companies are competitors to Russian companies. And it seems to me that there is some unfair competition, because I know the quality of Belarusian products from inside. We have the strictest requirements throughout the post-Soviet space.

Our country is in the top five 'dairy nations' in the world. For Belarus, milk is a kind of "white oil", which is exported worldwide. Only Russia has complaints.

Leonid Zayats, Agriculture and Food Minister of Belarus:
Some people are trying to sell products using trade names of our companies and make money for this. The Shuchin cheese factory can serve as an example. Rosselkhoznadzor revealed some discrepancies. When our services began to sort things out, it appeared that this cheese was falsified and does not belong to the Shuchin cheese factory. We asked the Russian police to file a case, but it refused to initiate criminal proceedings.

Ordinary Russians do not agree with the conclusions of Rosselkhoznadzor laboratory assistants.

Customers:
We buy tushonka (stewed meat) and ham. When you open a can, you see a slab of meat, just like in the good old days.

Belarusian products are known for their high quality and that is the reason why we buy them.

Valentina Matvienko, the "Iron Lady" of Russian politics, also appreciates Belarusian products.

Valentina Matviyenko, Chairwoman of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation:
I like Belarusian meat products. That forgotten natural taste of meat. Indeed these are very tasty products.

Alexander Surikov, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the Republic of Belarus:
Everyone likes Belarusian food products and I am not an exception. It is another matter that all these verification activities and publicizing the inspection results have a smack of populism.

Alexander Lukashenko, the President of the Republic of Belarus:
People like Dankvert and the rest will spit over, lie about and berate just like they did a short while ago. It turns out he cannot eat a piece of meat, a glass of milk or a slice of bread from Belarus.

Russians themselves do not really follow these sanctions. What is more, in the Western world, Belarusian products gain popularity. Two Belarusian companies won golden stars for multiple products at the Superior Taste Award contest that was held in Brussels.

On the shelves of one of the largest supermarkets of Riga, among the local products you can find Belarusian ones, such as mineral water and fish products.

Customers:
Belarusian products leave very good impression. Herring is tasty.

We buy Belarusian meat products. At the moment, against political background, Belarusian and European products are almost banned, but when relations between countries are normal all these products are in demand.

Artūrs Rubiks, deputy of the Latvian Saeima:
The quality of Belarusian meat products is very high. When I visit Minsk, I necessarily buy sausage, because it really is a sausage, as it should be. Everyone knows that Belarusian quality is still in keeping with the high government standard.

Anyway, traditionally after the holidays Rosselkhoznadzor will damp down its enthusiasm and as it usually happens, after alcoholic drinks people will feel the need for Belarusian fermented dairy.

Belarusian food products in Russia and Baltics: Why opinions of buyers and inspectors differ