China will not be able to replace fruits and vegetables from Europe on the Russian market because of logistics problems and quality assurance, Mikhail Anshakov, head of the Russian Consumer Rights Protection Society, said Thursday.
“It all comes down to logistics. Fish caught in the Far East is impossible to deliver through these narrow transport corridors without significant costs and losses. Chinese vegetables are cheap, they take up large volumes of space. The capacity of the Trans-Siberian [railway] is not enough. It is impossible to bring such volumes in trucks,” he told reporters.
According to Anshakov, Chinese products can take over the market only in Russia’s Far East.
In addition to the challenges in transporting fruits and vegetables from China, Russian experts will have problems determining the quality of Chinese food products, he said.
“Our expert labs at [the public health watchdog] Rospotrebnadzor and other agencies are focused on European standards. Pesticides and herbicides used in China significantly differ from European ones, nobody is monitoring this in China. And we do not have methods to discover them. We cannot determine the quality of Chinese products. This is a huge burden on our regulatory authorities. They simply will not be able to handle it,” he added.
The European Union, alongside the United States and a number of their allies, has imposed several rounds of sanctions on Russia over its alleged involvement in the Ukrainian crisis — claims Moscow has repeatedly denied. In August, Moscow responded with a one-year ban on certain food import from the countries that had previously imposed sanctions against Russia.