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MOSCOW, June 2 (ITAR-TASS) - Russia will reopen its market for vegetables from the EU countries only after the EU authorities provide data on the source of the Escherichia coli infection, the patterns of its transmission and geographic localization, the director of Russia's Federal Service for the Protection of Consumer Rights, Gennady Onishchenko said Thursday.
Russia effectuated the ban on the imports of vegetables from European countries Thursday.
The outbreak of a lethal infection caused by Escherichia coli, a bacterium that provokes a big number of infectious diseases like cholecystitis, bacteremia, cholangitis, urinary tract diseases, traveler's diarrhea, neonatal meningitis, and clinical pneumonia, has affected a number of European countries but primarily Germany and Spain.
The infection has claimed 17 human lives and has left more than 1,500 suffering from illness.
Onishchenko indicated that one of the conditions, on which Russia would readmit the European vegetables to its market once the number of cases of the infection stopped growing.
Moscow expects that the European agencies entrusted with resolving the situation give official confirmations to them at the national of European level.
The European Commission issued a demand earlier in the day that the Russian authorities lift the ban.
"The European Commission protested to the Russian Federation this afternoon against the Russian ban imposed earlier today on all EU vegetable exports to Russia, and requested the immediate withdrawal of the measure," the document said.