Belarus’ re-export of banned Western food to Russia: Effects for the Eurasian Economic Union

Trade sanctions against third countries inevitably bring a challenge of controlling the flows of goods through other member states of the customs union. As the Eurasian Economic Union members (Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan) did not follow the Russian decision to ban food imports from western countries, this challenge became a painful reality for Russia.

Re-export of sanctioned products worsened Belarus-Russia bilateral relations, provoked Belarusian and Russian officials‘ mutual accusations and even criminal investigations against the Head of Rosselkhoznadzor (Russian Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance) Sergei Dankvert by Belarus. Russia attempted to use the Eurasian Economic Union legal framework repeatedly to impose a more efficient system of control over re-export on the EAEU countries, but largely without success.

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