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Russia may restrict flower imports

The candidate for the position of Russia's Minister of Agriculture, Oksana Lut, announced the potential restriction of flower imports from 'unfriendly' countries'. According to her, the ministry, in collaboration with the Ministry of Economic Development, is considering customs and tariff regulations to reduce flower imports and encourage domestic production.

Lut emphasized that Russian flower growers will be provided with support measures, including preferential loans for the long-term construction of greenhouses. This initiative aims to reduce the dependence on imported flowers, which currently account for 82 percent of the Russian flower market.

Armenia as an alternative to European suppliers
Vera Azarova, co-owner of the decor and floristry studio 'Elements of Beauty', stated that Armenia could replace European flower suppliers in the Russian market. Armenian roses, carnations, and alstroemeria are considered to be of high quality, and their transportation costs are lower due to the geographical proximity to Russia. Azarova noted that while Armenian roses may not be as durable as those from Ecuador or Kenya, they are certainly on par with Russian-grown flowers.

Strengthening measures against imported flowers
In February 2024, Russia banned the import of Ecuadorian carnations from European Union countries such as the Netherlands, Germany, Latvia, and Lithuania, citing the detection of pests in the plants. In March, import duties on flowers were raised, marking another step towards limiting imports.

Barter trade: flowers for oil
Communist deputy Sergey Gavrilov proposed the idea of exchanging flowers from 'friendly countries' for Russian oil. He believes that flowers such as tulips, roses, daffodils, and hyacinths from Kenya, Ecuador, and Colombia are of comparable quality to Dutch flowers. Gavrilov suggests that barter trade would allow Russia to obtain these flowers in significant quantities. He speculated that Russia could trade irises and carnations for oil with countries like Turkey, Israel, or Spain.

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