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Rospotrebnadzor experts arrive in Kiev to inspect cheese enterprises

March 26, 2012, 15:58 UTC+3

Ukraine believes that Russia’s accusations are groundless

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KIEV, March 26 (Itar-Tass) — Rospotrednadzor experts have arrived in Kiev to inspect cheese manufacturing enterprises, which supply their products to Russia.

The Ukrainian Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Supervision told Itar-Tass on Monday that the Rospodrednadzor delegation “will inspect enterprises that were banned to supply their products on the Russian market”. The Ukrainian service regretted that Russian experts “refused to visit the service for veterinary and phytosanitary supervision”.

In the beginning of February the Russian Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Protection and Welfare banned cheese supplies to such enterprises as Prometei Company (Chernigov Region), the Piryatin and Gadyach cheese factories (both Poltava Region) because they did not correspond to Russia’s technical rules and because cheeses contained vegetable oils and fats.

Ukraine believes that Russia’s accusations are groundless. “The quality of our cheese is excellent. Of course, there is no palm oil in them,” Ukrainian Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov said.

In his view, “sooner or later both parties will reach agreement and remove barriers.”

Experts say Ukraine exports at least 65,000 tonnes of cheese to Russia every year. According to Ukrainian Vice-Prime Minister Valery Khoroshkovsky, after Russia’s consumer rights protection authority laid claims to the quality of Ukrainian-made cheeses, the Ukrainian side sent samples of exported cheeses for laboratory tests. “Not a single case of the presence of vegetable oils has been reported,” he said. In his words, more than 300 samples were taken. These samples were also sent for testing to an independent laboratory in the United States.

“I would like to note that manufacturers of meat and milk products have always been fulfilling the requirements of importer countries. No violations of export terms have been registered in Ukraine, since Russian and Ukraine have identical requirements to the quality of cheese in particular,” he noted. According to Khoroshkovsky, the government is assessing possible losses from Russia’s temporary ban on imports of Ukrainian-made cheeses. Thus, in his words, such losses might amount to at least 426 million U.S. dollars.

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