EU animal products could be banned in Russia
The European Commission has reported that Russia
intends to ban all animal product imports from the EU from 1 January 2007,
because, Russia says, new members Bulgaria and Romania have poor animal health
The news comes ahead of the scheduled EU-Russia summit that will take place
tomorrow in Helsinki.
Russia already bans meat and some plant imports from Poland, and Poland
plans to block the launch of talks on a new agreement to tighten ties between
Russia and the EU, unless the ban is lifted.
spokesman Philip Tod said the EU had taken steps to protect safety standards
after Romania and Bulgaria join.
â€œWe would not regard such a measure as justified or necessary,â€ he said.
â€œThe EU has taken all necessary measures to ensure the protection of animal
Russia's Veterinary and Phytosanitary Control Service, Rosselkhoznadzor,
said that Russia could stop issuing licences for EU imports as of 1 January,
unless it receives guarantees of the safety and quality of meat imported from
Bulgaria and Romania, Russian news agencies reported.
Russian EU envoy Sergei Yastrzhembsky said Bulgaria and Romania must abide
by rules on meat and plant imports. He said the two new countries had to meet
rules that are accepted by both the EU and Russia.
â€œOf course we would like to do without any bans,â€ he said, adding that bans
are â€œthe last resort, for cases when, unfortunately, persuasion brings no
Tod said checks were in place to prevent animal products that did not meet
EU food safety standards from reaching the EU market - much less export markets.
â€œWe are fully confident that Romania and Bulgaria are ready to assume the
responsibilities of membership and there is no risk to the ... market,â€ Tod
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