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Russian ban on Ukraine potatoes 'no threat to supply'

June 16, 2014, 16:30 UTC+3 MOSCOW

“Russia can substitute these supplies with domestically produced potatoes,” a lawmaker says

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© ITAR-TASS/Vladimir Smirnov

MOSCOW, June 16. /ITAR-TASS/. Alternative sources exist to replace Ukrainian potato imports, banned by Russia’s veterinary inspection service Rosselkhoznadzor from Monday, Nikolai Pankov, chairman of the State Duma Committee for Agrarian Issues, told journalists on Monday.

Entry was banned for non-compliance with quality requirements, notably posing health risks through excessive use of fertilisers, Pankov said.

“In view of military activities in the country, Ukraine has become a market to which not only neighbouring countries but the whole European Union supply products of poor quality," the deputy said. "They are trying to transport these products to us,” he said, citing milk, pork and potatoes.

The inspection service decision would not affect potato supply-and-demand balance in Russia, he said. “Russia can substitute these supplies with domestically produced potatoes,” he said, adding that imports from elsewhere were also available.

Russia was one of the biggest markets for Ukrainian potatoes. Federal Customs Service figures show Russia imported 6,500 tonnes worth $2.4 million from its neighbouring state in 2013.

Russia’s federal veterinary and phytosanitary control agency (Rosselkhoznadzor) has imposed a temporary ban on imports of potatoes from Ukraine starting from June 16, 2014 over golden nematode periodically found in Ukrainian potatoes.

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