BELGRADE – Serbia will experience damages instead of expected benefits from the trade war between Russia and the European Union, and the exchange with Russia has already dropped by a fifth since the beginning of the year, agriculture expert Miladin Sevarlic of the Belgrade Institute of Economic Sciences stated on Wednesday.

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The drop in the value of the Russian rouble, an increase in the exchange rate in favour of the U.S. dollar, oil price decline and lower demand for imported products in Russia are listed as some of the reasons for the consequences Serbia’s trade is suffering, Sevarlic told Radio Television of Serbia.

The only increase in Serbia’s export figures was recorded with agricultural and food products (almost six per cent), which is still a figure lower than originally anticipated, he said.

Sevarlic believes that fruit and vegetable manufacturers and meat and dairy producers have the best prospects for export to the Russian market in case revitalisation of the local cattle breeding industry proves successful. Still, additional investments in the agriculture sector will be necessary in the next three to seven years to achieve this goal, he noted.

This calls for constitution of logistic centres through the cooperative sector, and the production should be oriented towards the demanding and numerous Russian market, Sevarlic said.