MOSCOW, April 17 (Itar-Tass) —— The Russian market reopens for three Ukrainian cheese makers – Prometei from the Chernigov region and the Piryatinsky Cheese Factory and Gadyachsyr from the Poltava region, Russian Chief Public Health Official Gennady Onishchenko said on Tuesday.
In his words, the fourth cheese maker who may return to the Russian market is Dubnamoloko. The factory has presented documents confirming the compliance of its products with Russian norms, he said.
In the beginning Russia will check every cheese delivery from Ukraine, Onishchenko said. He noted that the plants would control the quality of their products not only in the course of production but also on the market. “A manufacturer is responsible for its products everywhere,” he said.
In turn, Ukrainian Economic Development and Trade Minister Pyotr Poroshenko, who is visiting Moscow, said they had agreed on the schedule of Russian inspections at Ukrainian plants. The inspections will start next week. He also said they had agreed that Ukraine would submit a list of quality control laboratories with European accreditation to Russia.
Harmonization of commodity requirements and quality control are key tasks, Onishchenko and Poroshenko said.
Russia banned dairy products of seven Ukrainian plants in early February under the pretext that the cheese contained vegetable oils in violation of Russian technical regulations. Ukrainian producers dismissed the accusations as unfounded.
Ukrainian Agrarian Policy and Food Minister Nikolai Prisyazhnyuk said that losses of Ukrainian dairy product manufacturers might near $150 million in the first quarter of this year. Ukraine annually brings $500 million worth of cheese to Russia, which is the largest market for Ukrainian cheese.