Agriculture Minister promises 'immediate intervention' on dairy industry

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Agriculture Minister Janis Duklavs said Thursday he would ask his government for "immediate intervention" to support the Latvian dairy industry from the impact of EU sanctions against the Russian Federation and tit-for-tat counter-sanctions by Russia.

Speaking to the Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LTRK) to discuss response options, Duklavs - who is also trying to tackle the spread of African Swine Fever among pigs, with mixed results - said: "The state needs to find a way to support the dairy industry as a whole by intervening," a release by the Agriculture Ministry said.

Meetings to find the most appropriate method of state aid have already been held with both milk producers and processors, he said. 
LTRK members called on Duklavs to go much further than the tax "holidays" and extended payment periods that have been discussed so far and measures should include financial support for bank loans taken out by businesses and loan guarantees.

Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma on August 12 gave the Agriculture, Finance and Economy ministries two weeks to draw up comprehensive plans to reduce the economic damage likely to be caused by the sanctions.

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