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Norway fails to find new buyers for fish after losing Russia

Staff Writer | January 24, 2018
Oslo has lost around a billion dollars after Russia closed its market for Norwegian fish in response to Western sanctions. Norway has yet to find alternative buyers.
Norway fish
Food trade   After the cooling of relations
"After the cooling of relations between Russia and Norway in 2014, we and the Norwegians had to adjust to a new situation,” said Russian Ambassador to Norway Teimuraz Ramishvili.

“From an economic point of view, Norway lost a billion dollars from the fish trade with Russia. There were attempts from Oslo to find new markets, great hopes were associated with China, but the Russian market was not replaced.”

Earlier, Norwegian Fisheries Minister Per Sandberg told RIA Novosti that Norway wants to return Norwegian salmon to the Russian market in the near future. He said Norway now sells the fish to China, Japan and Vietnam.

Russia’s import ban wiped out 10 percent of Norway’s salmon market, Marius Gaard, an analyst at Swedbank Markets, told Bloomberg last year.

The Chinese market was closed for Norwegian fish for seven years after the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to imprisoned Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo. Relations were restored in January 2017. China said that Norway had “deeply reflected upon the reasons bilateral mutual trust was harmed.”

Fisheries Minister Sandberg said at the time that Norway “speaks up about human rights in many other circumstances,” and added “This time it is fish that matters!” Norway lost up to $1.3 billion in exports to China.