`Tunisia Agrees to Ease Russia's Reliance on European Oil

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Tunisia Agrees to Ease Russia's Reliance on European Oil

Sep. 4, 2014
Olive Oil Times Staff

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Tunisian For­eign Min­is­ter Mongi Hamdi

In response to Vladimir Putin’s retal­ia­tory ban on Euro­pean goods, Tunisia has agreed to replace olive oil. Olive oil, cof­fee, and wine are not part of the Russ­ian ban, how­ever, accord­ing the Russ­ian news agency Itar Tass, Tunisian For­eign Min­is­ter Mongi Hamdi said Euro­pean olive oil was of infe­rior qual­ity any­way, and he there­fore gra­ciously agreed to pro­vide Tunisian olive oil with­out inter­me­di­aries.”

Euro­pean coun­tries were expected to lose about $9 bil­lion in rev­enue as a result of the ban ordered by Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin in response to sanc­tions related to the con­flict in Ukraine.

Accord­ing to a research report pre­pared by Argon Inter­na­tional for the Inter­na­tional Olive Coun­cil, olive oil in Rus­sia is con­sid­ered a spe­cialty prod­uct mostly con­sumed by the elite. How­ever, in an effort to broaden the mar­ket, Euro­pean pro­duc­ers, and Spain in par­tic­u­lar, have engaged in vig­or­ous mar­ket­ing cam­paigns.

Fol­low­ing two pre­lim­i­nary meet­ings in the spring of this year, Hamdi met Tues­day with Russ­ian min­is­ter Ser­gueï Lavrov in Moscow to improve rela­tions between the two coun­tries and set a devel­op­ment exam­ple for coun­tries that had Arab Spring rev­o­lu­tions.” Rela­tions between the two coun­tries have not met expec­ta­tions in the past, he said.

In addi­tion to a trade agree­ment, Tunisia received a $500 mil­lion loan from Rus­sia, accord­ing to the ANSAmed Ital­ian news agency.

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