EU farmers get another 165 million of aid after Russian food ban

The European Commission has pledged an additional €165 million in aid for farmers affected by Russian sanctions, after being subjected to withering criticism from food producers across the bloc over its first aid plan.

"Because of the embargo, we could risk bankruptcy," 25-year-old apple farmer Stefano Francia said in an interview with the Thomson Reuters Foundation before Monday night's Commission announcement (30 September)

The previous EU agricultural support programme ran from 18 August to 10 September, when it was suspended because the full budget of €125 million had already been claimed.

Francia and other farmers criticised the earlier funding plan, saying that Polish farmers received 80% of the aid, leaving little for anyone else.

"The problem is that Poland is a big apple producer and they exported a lot to Russia, leaving little [aid] left for Italian [and other affected] farmers," said Francia, speaking at his farm north of Rome.

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