While the EU’s sanctions may be biting into Russia’s food trade market, hurting some EU firms in the process… one country has found a silver lining in the midst of it all.
Serbia is hoping to capitalize on Russia’s ban on importing food from the West, and if things turn out well, agriculture experts argue that the rewards should be great.
Milan Prostran, Serbian agriculture expert, says, “We have a chance that does not come along very often. Neighboring countries also implementing sanctions against Russia will see their exports suffer, but taking advantage of this chance, means heavy investment, better organization, and support from the state.”
Since Serbia and Russia have always had a strong relationship, the timing is perfect for making a profit.
Turning Grains Into Gains
Serbia isn’t throwing all of its eggs in one basket, either. It’s looking to the West, too, as it hopes to join the EU one day.
“The Russian situation won’t see benefits for Serbia in just a month or two, but for us, this is a chance to foster better competition from our companies in Russia, as well as Europe, and possibly open a path towards the European Union,” according to the Director of Serbia’s chamber of Commerce and Industry, Zeljko Sertic.
Making sure not to infringe on EU sanctions, Serbia has also vowed to keep a close eye on agricultural products sales from the EU to Russia.
“The chance to expand Russian exports could be a double-edged sword, as it might mean the closure of some economic channels with the EU,” adds Apple World Director, Dusan Milivojevic. “That would mean we couldn’t sell to them, and I think this situation is one that isn’t necessarily good news for all of us.”
The sanctions present an opportune moment almost too good for Serbian businesses to pass up. But they’ll have to walk the political and economic tightrope carefully if they want to take advantage.
In pursuit of the truth,
Politics Research Team