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Belarus aims to settle problems with food supplies to Russia in 10 days — deputy PM

December 03, 2014, 19:14 UTC+3 MINSK
The Russian veterinary regulator has temporarily banned supplies of meat and dairy products from several Belarusian enterprises starting from November 24
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© Zurab Dzhavakhadze/TASS

MINSK, December 3. /TASS/. Belarusian Deputy Prime Minister Mikhail Rusyi said on Wednesday the republic intended to resolve its problems with food supplies to Russia and shipments of goods through the Russian territory within ten days.

Speaking after a meeting on possible measures to resume Belarusian supplies to Russia, Rusyi told journalists that Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko stressed the need to improve food quality control in the country, observe all sorts of regulations, from border control to transit rules, and prevent re-export.

All these issues will be discussed on Thursday with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich and Sergey Dankvert, head of Russia's veterinary and phytosanitary service Rosselkhoznadzor.

The Russian veterinary regulator has temporarily banned supplies of meat and dairy products from several Belarusian enterprises starting from November 24, mainly for non-compliance with safety standards after inspections showed microbiological contamination, traces of antibiotics and African Swine Fever genome in imports.

Russian food standards officers are also pushing for tighter rules controlling food being transported across Russia from neighbor-state Belarus to third destinations.

Regulations effective from November 30 are designed to close illegal transit routes which authorities say are channelling 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 into the country.

Tighter controls are proposed to battle increasingly frequent attempts by Western suppliers to circumvent Russia’s ban on food imports, fraudulently re-exporting European fruit and vegetables through Belarus and Kazakhstan under the guise of transit, Russian food standards officers say.

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