Australian Lamb Group suspends exports to Russia

In retaliation for MH17, Victorian meat processing company Australian Lamb Group (ALG) suspending exports to the Russia.

ALG managing director John Verrall cut all lamb and mutton exports to the country after flight MH17 was gunned down by suspected pro-Russian rebels.

Verrell had a distant connection to Victorian real estate agent Albert Rizk, who died alongside wife Maree in the doomed flight, the Weekly Times Now reports.

Verrall told Weekly Times Now his son, Darren, became associated with Rizk, last year when purchasing a new property.

Since the incident, Russian President Vladimir Putin has come under international fire for supposedly aiding the separatists and refusing to accept responsibility for the destruction.

As owner of a business which exports to 69 countries, Verrall said he was in a position to make a stand against the President.

“Australian Lamb Group wants to send a very strong message to the Russian President Mr Putin that we, as an Australian company, will not abide the circumstances as they are currently unfolding with regard to the shooting down of flight MH17 and the recovery operations at the crash site,” he said.

ALG has had a “strong business relationship” with Russia for several years and Verrall said it was a “difficult” decision.

“If businesses don’t make a stand then these people get away with it,” Verrall said. “It is not a decision that our company has taken lightly and it does have repercussions for our business, but we believe that we must stand up for the Australians who have lost their lives at the hands of separatists reportedly armed and supported by President Putin.”

“We want to support the work of the Australian government and the United Nations Security Council as they seek an independent, impartial and thorough investigation of the events that resulted in the shooting down of MH17.”

Verrall said he felt “strongly that business can lend support and weight to the work of our government in a very effective and practical manner”.

“By suspending all exports of our products to Russia we are sending a very strong message to Mr Putin,” he said.

“We hope that such measures will encourage him to do the right and decent thing by providing all assistance and support that he can to international authorities to secure the crash site and ensure that the bodies on the site are treated with dignity and care, and repatriated back to their homelands.”

Any Russian meat orders currently in production will be redirected to alternate destinations, so “they won’t be destroyed”.

 

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