MINSK, November 27. /TASS/. New rules controlling food being transported across Russia from neighbour-state Belarus to third destinations have drawn the wrath of Belarusia's president.
Head of state Alexander Lukashenko is vowing a response to new veterinary and food standards regulations set to tighten transit rules aimed at stopping trucks said destined for Kazakhstan but unloading instead in Russia.
Regulations effective from November 30 are designed to close illegal transit routes which authorities say are chanelling frozen meat from Europe into Russia — products Moscow has banned in response to Western sanctions over Ukraine. From this date, consignments must be examined at Russian checkpoints before being allowed through.
Indignant Lukashenko directed his protest at a meeting with St. Petersburg Governor Georgy Poltavchenko on Thursday. “The behaviour of Russian authorities does not just surprise, but upsets," he said. "If trade between the two countries is not normalized according to Customs agreements, we will have to respond.”