EU forks out further €165mn in aid to farmers hit by Russian sanctions

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A French farmer drives his tractor as he harvests apples in a 8 hectare apple orchard at the Verger d'Epinoy near Cambrai, northern France September 3, 2014. (Reuters/Pascal Rossignol)

The EU has announced emergency funding for perishable fruit and vegetables hit by Russia’s EU food ban as part of efforts to help cover part of the farmers’ losses that are estimated at billions of euros.

The cash strapped European Commission has stumped up €165 million ($209.4 million) to help fruit and vegetable farmers hit by the Russian food ban, officials said Monday.

“I am pleased that the Commission has managed to mobilize a further €165 million to help ease the market pressure for fruit and vegetable growers following the Russian ban,” Dacian Cioslos, the EU’s agricultural minister, said in a statement. He added that the financial package would provide “short-term relief.”

The €165 million is in addition to €125 million announced in August. The August package was suspended on 10 September because of the EU’s full budget for that period had already been allocated.

The new plan includes products like pears, apples, cucumbers and carrots. It will run until the end of the year and is estimated to cover up to 400,000 tons of products.

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