Minister of Agriculture Ester Tuiksoo replied to the interpellation (No. 84) concerning charges levied on surplus stocks, submitted on June 3 by Members of the Riigikogu Jaanus Marrandi, Harri Õunapuu, Sven Mikser, Mark Soosaar and Olev Laanjärv.
Minister of Agriculture informed that during the period from May 1, 2003 to April 30, 2004 160,000 tons of sugar had been imported to Estonia for free circulation. The quantity of sugar, imported during the above period, exceeded the volume of average imports of three last years by two point three times. In case of sugar the Ministry of Agriculture has submitted the required data to the European Commission by July 31, 2004.
By October 31 the European Commission will have to make a decision upon the amount of the surplus stocks of sugar that must be withdrawn from the market by the new Member States in a year. Withdrawing from the market means either the export to the third countries without export refund or re-processing into heating material or forage. In case of inability to do it, the fine will be imposed, that could be up to EEK 9 per kilogramme. There is a great danger that the European Commission could regard all the import that is more capacious than usual to be stocks. Minister of Agriculture stated: ?In this case the sum will be approximately EEK 800 million.?
Mrs. Tuiksoo informed the Riigikogu that as regards other agricultural products they had to submit the data about stocks by October 31, as a result of which she could not give a specific survey of the amount of surplus stocks. But in case of the afore-mentioned, it is also necessary to submit the data concerning foreign trade and if there was essential increase in import before the accession, it can also be dealt with as surplus stocks.
President of the Bank of Estonia Vahur Kraft replied to the interpellation (No.91) concerning the correspondent accounts, frozen in the Foreign Bank of the USSR, submitted on June 28 by the Isamaaliit Faction.
Mr. Kraft explained that the actual facts concerning the blocking of the accounts in the Vnesheconombank of the USSR were described in the Resolution of the Riigikogu, passed on January 20, 1993, on the accounts of the Estonian banks, frozen in the USSR Bank of Foreign Economy. According to the justification to the Resolution, the establishment of the VEB-Fund and implementation of other measures connected with the regulation of banking was necessary in connection with sanctions of the Russian Federation against the banks of Estonia, according to which the correspondent accounts of these banks were frozen for an indefinite period. In addition to the afore-mentioned, the Russian party has repeatedly mentioned that the matters connected with frozen accounts is an issue of negotiations between the Governments of Estonia and Russia.
The President of the Bank of Estonia assured the Riigikogu: ?There has been no ?shifting? of sums?. Mr. Kraft stated that the volume of claims had decreased which may refer to the fact that the VEB-Fund and the Bank of Estonia had tried to find solutions to the problem within the limits of their possibilities.
The Riigikogu Press Service
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