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Russia's consumer watchdog drafts documents to renew Lithuanian dairy import

December 24, 2013, 19:59 UTC+3 24
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MOSCOW, December 24 (Itar-Tass) - Russia’s Federal Consumer Rights Protection and Human Health Control Service, Rospotrebnadzor, is preparing documents permitting Lithuania’s dairy products import to Russia, Rospotrebnadzor Interim Head Anna Popova told journalists on Tuesday.

“We are currently drafting documents to permit dairy products supplies,” she said. “We should note a remarkably positive stance of the Lithuanian side.”

“This is a very serious approach,” she added.

Russia imposed a ban on the import of Lithuanian dairy products starting from October 7, 2013, over non-compliance with quality requirements. Rospotrebnadzor said the examination of dairy products from Lithuania exposed numerous violations of consumer protection laws and sanitary regulations, such as microbiological, chemical, and organoleptic parameters. Following the ban, Lithuania requested Rospotrebnadzor to hold negotiations on the issue.

Russia’s consumer rights watchdog has been tightening control over the quality and safety of dairy products imported from Lithuania into Russia since September 2013, when certain samples failed to meet the standards effective inside the Customs Union.

Russia imposed a previous ban on the import of dairy products from some Lithuanian enterprises in 2009. Large batches of the goods supplied - butter, sour cream, curds and milk - contained traces of antibiotics tetracycline and doxycycline.

Russia is one of the key export markets for Lithuanian dairy products and accounts for almost 85 percent of all products leaving the country. In 2012, the country exported to Russia 370,000 tonnes of dairy products worth $193 million. According to the national dairy producers union Soyuzmoloko, Lithuanian exports to Russia are mostly cheese, at 39,400 tonnes worth $181 million in 2012, 1,550 tonnes of yoghurts worth nearly $4 million, and 267 tonnes of butter valued at $1.3 million.

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