Spanish farmers strike over anti-Russia sanctions
Nearly 200 farmers have gone on strike in Spain and abandoned their products in the middle of a road in Catalonia to protest against Western-imposed sanctions against Russia.
The strike on Sunday in Alcanar was organized by the Unió de Pagesos (UP) and a number of other farmer groups and unions.
The farmers dumped their citrus fruits on the road to express their anger at the European Union for its ban on fruit exports to Russia.
They say the ban on agricultural products has left the farmers with a surplus of stocks.
The protesters also complained that the Spanish government has so far failed to provide them with sufficient compensation for the oranges and lemons they have not been able to sell.
They warned the Spanish government that they would hold more protests if they did not receive a positive response.
Meanwhile, Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo said that the EU has lost 21 billion euros as a result of the sanctions against Moscow.
Following sanctions imposed on Russia by Western powers over Moscow’s alleged role in the crisis in Ukraine, Russia imposed a full year-long ban of European Union, US, Australian, Canadian, and Norwegian food exports to the country.
Prior to the ban, Moscow annually purchased over two billion Euros ($2.7 billion) worth of fruits and vegetables from the EU.
The Western powers have been accusing Moscow of playing a role in the deadly crisis in eastern Ukraine, which erupted when Kiev launched military operations in April to silence pro-Russia protests, but the Kremlin denies the accusation.
Western states have placed sanctions on Russia, including on its financial and energy sectors, putting a number of Russian nationals close to President Vladimir Putin on a sanctions list.