Russia Impounds Egypt’s Orange Shipment 

Egyptian Trade and Industry Minister, Nevine Gamea, on Tuesday met with the Russian Ambassador in Cairo, Georgiy Borisenko, on Tuesday to discuss ways to release Egyptian orange shipments impounded at a Russian port and destined for the Russian market.

The Egyptian government is holding intensive contacts with Russia to resolve the situation, Gamea said in a statement.

The Russian Federal Service for the Oversight of Consumer Protection and Welfare (Rospotrebnadzor) last month decided to stop importing a variety of vegetables and fruits from certain producers in countries such as Egypt, China, and Iran, in order to prevent widespread poisonings.

Russian decision affects specific producers, not whole countries.

According to Gamea, Egypt exports more oranges than any other country in the world, 2 million tonnes annually, noting that Egyptian oranges are also exported to the European Union, China, Japan, among others.

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“The Egyptian government is keen to export products that conform to international standards and are approved by the relevant Russian authorities,” Gamea said. 

According to Borisenko, the Russian embassy in Cairo is following with great interest the development of the orange shipments to the Russian market, noting that the embassy is coordinating with relevant Russian authorities to solve this problem as soon as possible, according to the statement.

In the meeting, Gamea expressed the opinion that now, between Cairo and Moscow, there is an unprecedented economic momentum due to the steady growth of annual trade exchange rates as well as the ongoing negotiations of a free trade agreement between Egypt and the countries of the Eurasian Union, in addition to the potential establishment of a Russian industrial zone in Egypt.

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Russian exports to Egypt last year totaled $489 million, an increase of 17.5% compared to $416 million in 2020 – making it one of the most important markets receiving Egyptian exports.

Borisenko noted that Russia and Egypt have good strategic bilateral relations based on a long history of economic cooperation in many different areas.

Additionally, he emphasised that the Russian side looks forward to expanding the contexts of joint cooperation, particularly in light of the strong interest of both countries’ political leaders to make greater progress in establishing a qualitative leap in economic ties between the two countries.

He added that the Russian side is looking forward to expanding the fields of joint cooperation, especially in light of the strong desire of both countries’ political leaders to achieve a qualitative leap in economic relations between them.

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