Who forbade us to bring fruits from abroad.
July is the height, Belarusians went on vacation, the Instagram accounts of acquaintances are full of picturesque enchanting photos from Ukrainian, Bulgarian, Greek coasts. "Paradise is the south," a funny and relaxing song persistently whistles in my ears. Soon everyone will return home from vacation. A year ago we brought watermelons, apricots, cherry glowing from the inside by the southern sun. And now we have to eat the excess of apricots before crossing the border.
Since July 1 the ban on import of more than five kilos of fruits and vegetables to Belarus has come into force. Either you have five kilograms or you must take a phytosanitary certificate. The certificate is not a problem, fficials on the TV have been trying to calm down displeased Belarusians for the second week. You need to wait only for a few days. It costs pennies. There are a few important things people on vacation should do: throw a coin into the sea to ever come back, take a picture against the background of the beating of waves, build a fortress from the sand, and wander for a couple of days at local authorities to get a phytosanitary certificate. This is better than a water park.
There are those who can wonder why we need more than 5 kilos. We can buy everything in the market in Belarus. First, not everyone can do it. Second, one can buy this cheaper abroad, and this is one of decisive factors for many families. Third, some sweaty men wearing ties dicide what watermelon we should buy before leaving. We do not focus on the content of purses and the weight of suitcases, but on orders of those uncles wearing ugly ties. This is the most disturbing thing for Belarusians. However, if tomorrow someone introduces restrictions on import of magnets on a refrigerator, someone will certainly say: "Why do you need more than one magnet?...".
However, those who blame Lukashenka for his decision to do dirt on the Belarusians even with cherries are wrong. No, this time not Lukashenka; this time Vladimir Putin forbade us to bring fruits from abroad. Since July 1 this idiotic norm has come into force not only in Belarus, but also in all countries of the EEU - Russia, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan. This is just one of results of a union of outsiders.
Perhaps, now even children in a kindergartners know that the EEU is just a protectorate of Russia. It is the one which makes up rules others just obey. Do you remember the technical regulations of the Customs Union and agreements on the EEU have caused the ban of labels in the Belarusian language and obliged to write all the information in Russian (well, if it's possible to duplicate it in Belarusian)? Not in Kazakh, not in Armenian, but in Russian for all the countries-members of the EEU. Here is a simple answer to the question who is the leader in this union of losers.
So it's all clear with fruits: Putin who has been fighting Polish apples for years, and has been closing them also for other people. Lukashenka who wants to control all sanctions products to Russia is also an interested person in this story, although does not make any difference. It turns out that the Belarusians suffer from "the Crimea is ours" and foreign aggressor country. And they, perhaps, think: God thank that we are allowed abroad.
Of course, according to an official version, smuggling has nothing to do with it. And the restriction of fruit imports is just a part of a large EEU program designed to improve the control over the transfer of goods and to protect the agriculture of the Eurasian Union. Control at the borders is toughened, as if not to deprive the Belarusians of fresh southern fruits, but in connection with the adoption of a single extended reference book for quarantine facilities of the EEU and the struggle intensification for phytosanitary security.
And in fact, our watermelons do not play any role, if a large union of losers solves such important problems as ban on import to all five countries, capable of damaging agriculture and forestry. I have read this extended reference book. I could not have imagined the level of threat and the intensity of the fight against it. Fortunately, now our countries have an official ban on import of mealybug, Monochamus obtusus Casey and Monochamus mutator, California Pea Leafminer, Agapeta hamana, Megaselia scalaris, and several dozens of terrible monsters that are surely hiding in every sixth kilogram of southern fruits and vegetables. Well, if our unimported apricots help to stop wicked Monochamus obtusus Casey at the approaches to our borders, then I can agree.
Moreover, everything is not so bad in the EEU countries. Acorns from abroad can be imported without restrictions under the new norms. "A pig under an age-old oak having eaten until full..." Damn, I can't stop thinking about it. Shut up forever, fable writers.
Iryna Khalip for Charter97.org