Cuba to begin exporting ‘unlimited’ amounts of shellfish to Russia

Russia has authorized the importation of Cuban shellfish — initially shrimp and lobster — and will start receiving it “without limitation,” the Russian Ministry of Agriculture announced Monday (Aug. 10) in Moscow.

Six companies have been cleared by Rosselkhoznadzor, the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Oversight: Pesquera Industrial Batabanó, Pesquera Industrial de Santa Cruz del Sur, Pesquera Industrial de Villa Clara Villamar, Pesquera Industrial La Coloma, Pesquera Industrial Tunas de Zaza, and Procesadora Industrial Río Cauto.

Aleksei N. Alekseyenko
Aleksei N. Alekseyenko

Deliveries can start right away, said a statement from Rosselkhoznadzor, the Ministry of Agriculture’s purchasing agency. The agency did not give details about the initial volume of imports, prices or delivery time.

Cuban shrimp will be delivered in the shell, without shell, fresh, chilled, frozen, steamed or boiled, dried, salted or in brine, the announcement said.

“Cuba has never been a major supplier of seafood to Russia, but we accept the guarantees of their veterinary services,” said Aleksei Nikolayevich Alekseyenko, spokesman for Rosselkhoznadzor.

[For background in Progreso Weekly, click here and here.]

One year ago, Russia announced that it would not buy food from countries that are pressuring it economically, financially and politically. The ban involved seafood, dairy products, meat, sausages, vegetables and fruit from the United States, the European Union, Canada, Australia and Norway.

rosselkhoz logoThose pressures were in response to Russia’s support for the pro-Russian separatists in Crimea and eastern Ukraine.

Commenting on the supply of food products to Russia from abroad, Alekseyenko noted that Russia plans to expand the geography of supplies.

In late August, Iran will furnish Russia with fish and fish products. Russia has already received the first trial batch of Iranian seafood — 30 tons.

Rosselkhoznadzor may soon allow deliveries of cheese from two dairies in Ukraine. And in September it will resume negotiations with India on the supply to Russia of dairy products.

Also, talks are ongoing with Chile on the supply of fish and other seafood.