8 Dec 2023 10:49

Russia's Agriculture Ministry to send attaches to Belarus, Benin in 2024

MOSCOW. Dec 8 (Interfax) - Russia's Agriculture Ministry plans to send its representatives to Belarus and Benin in 2024, the deputy director of the ministry's department for international cooperation and exports, Ivan Ponomarev said on Thursday.

"We are promptly responding to changes in the geopolitical situation, changing the geography of our representatives' presence. Just this year we approached the Foreign Ministry with proposals to change two countries where we have a presence," Ponomarev said at a strategic session on trends, challenges and new opportunities for Russian agricultural exports in 2023-2024 organized by the Agriculture Ministry's Agroexport Center.

He was referring to the Netherlands, from which the agricultural attache was expelled along with a group of other diplomats, and Sudan, from which the ministry recalled its representative due to the unrest in the country.

"We replaced these countries. Next year we'll send representatives to Belarus and Benin. Unfortunately, after consulting with the Foreign Ministry, we were forced to suspend the registration of our attache in Israel until the situation stabilizes," Ponomarev said.

The ministry is working on building a network of agricultural attaches abroad in line with a presidential decree. The first attaches were sent abroad in the spring of 2021, when ten ministry representatives began working in Mexico, Thailand, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Peru, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Angola and Ethiopia. The ministry plans to eventually have attaches in 50 countries.

The attaches establish communication with local government agencies, and help Russian businesses find partners and secure a foothold and expand on local markets.