Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said the ban imposed by Russia on EU agricultural products is very worrying for Irish farmers.
Speaking from Strasbourg, Ms Anderson said;
“The ban imposed by the Russian Federation on agricultural produces from the EU is a very worrying development for Irish farmers.
“It reflects the failures of both Russian and European diplomacy to deal with issues in Ukraine.
“Undoubtedly it is the people of Ukraine who have suffered as a result of this but the negative impact is also now being felt by farmers and agricultural businesses in Ireland and across Europe.
“Farmers and agricultural communities are already struggling and these sanctions may prove to be too much for some to cope with.
“That is why Sinn Féin voted against the EU-Ukraine association agreement which would only serve to escalate the conflict and add to the worries of our agricultural community. Attempts to rush this agreement through the Parliament without appropriate political scrutiny benefit no-one.
“The European Commission needs to ensure that small family farmers do not pay the price for international political decisions they did not ask for.
“The Commission should also explore the possibility of whether compensation could be put in place where there is long-term impact on farmers beyond the sanctions period.
“Small farmers need a friend in the European Commission, not a bureaucracy which fails to act to protect their livelihoods.”