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Belarus meat supplies return to Russia after temporary ban

December 04, 2014, 18:42 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Tighter controls are introduced to battle increasingly frequent attempts by Western suppliers to circumvent Russia’s ban on food imports
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© Zurab Dzhavakhadze/TASS

MOSCOW, December 4. /TASS/. Veterinary officials from Russia and Belarus have agreed to return meat products from four Belarusian enterprises to the Russian market, Belarus Deputy Prime Minister Mikhail Rusyi said on Thursday.

Four enterprises have been put "under control” by Belarus, working with Russian counterparts until December 10, Rusyi told journalists. Five other meat processing enterprises would be subject to similar observation in the near future while seven more companies would be examined at a later date, he said.

The move follows Russia’s veterinary regulator temporarily banning supplies of meat products from more than 20 Belarusian enterprises last month. This was carried out mainly for non-compliance with safety standards after inspections showed microbiological contamination, traces of antibiotics and African Swine Fever genome in imports.

On November 30, Russian agency Rosselkhoznadzor imposed new transit rules for Belarus. Russian authorities said trucks destined for Kazakhstan were being illegally unloaded instead in Russia. New regulations were imposed to close illegal transit routes used to deliver frozen meat from Europe into Russia — products Moscow has banned in response to Western sanctions over Ukraine.

Consignments must now be examined at Russian checkpoints before being allowed through.

Tighter controls are introduced to battle increasingly frequent attempts by Western suppliers to circumvent Russia’s ban on food imports, fraudulently re-exporting European agricultural and meat products from Belarus marked as destined for Kazakhstan under the guise of transit, Russian food standards officers say.

Belarus and Russia are also considering systems of control over transit flows, looking ahead to new member-states entering the regional customs union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, Rusyi said. This may introduce an electronic system called Argus Phyto to track cargo movement on customs union territory, he added.

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