Reuters: the migration crisis in Belarus made it difficult to supply food to Russia
The migration crisis on the Belarusian-Polish border made it difficult to food producers in Russia, which is why the country was under the threat of a deficit, writes Reuters. Some companies are already suffering losses and are considering a temporary halt in production if the situation worsens.
Poland has closed several checkpoints across the border with Belarus for freight traffic. The reason was the political tension between the European Union and Minsk – the West accused the Belarusian authorities of encouraging migrants from the Middle East to illegally cross the borders. Long queues of trucks formed at four of the six that remained open. At the same time, six checkpoints across the border between Belarus and Lithuania operate as usual.
A spokesman for the Russian market told Reuters that lines at any time of the day include 400-600 trucks that wait 2-4 days to cross the border instead of the usual 12-24 hours. Transportation costs for manufacturers have risen significantly, as each day of downtime costs them € 500 ($ 564). Transportation of food along the alternative route costs 300-400 euros (338-451 dollars), the source noted.
According to another source, the losses of Russian importers are still small – after the deterioration in late January, in early December the situation is slightly stabilized. “If the situation worsens, it could lead to a break in the supply chain and the shutdown of factories,” – said a representative of the Russian business.
The movement of trucks from Russia and Belarus to Europe also deteriorated. The Foreign Investment Advisory Council, which includes food giants Mars, Pepsi, Danone, Nestle, CocaCola, Metro and TetraPak, already asked the Russian government on November 18 to intervene (a copy of the letter is in Reuters' possession).
< p> “Keeping the situation in its current form could have a significant impact on supply chains and the availability of goods for the population, including essential goods, especially given the increase in cargo volumes and increased demand on the eve of the New Year holidays,” the appeal says. The authors of the letter emphasized that about 10 percent of all Russian imports go through the border of Belarus with Poland. The office of Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov, to whom the letter was addressed, said it would study the situation.
On December 2, the European Union introduced new sanctions against Belarus due to the situation with migrants at the border. It includes individual prohibitive measures against individuals and legal entities “in connection with the hybrid actions of Belarus to instrumentalize migrants to put pressure on the EU states.”