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Ambassador: Belarus has not resumed customs inspections on border with Russia

December 10, 2014, 8:22 UTC+3 PENZA
Belarusian customs officials working on the border are trying to prevent poor quality agricultural products from entering the Russian market
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© ITAR-TASS/Maxim Shemetov

PENZA, Central Russia, December 9 /TASS/. Belarus Ambassador to Russia Igor Petrishchenko who arrived on a working visit to Penza on Tuesday denied that Belarus had resumed customs inspections on the border with Russia.

“The Belarusian side didn't resume any customs control on the border,” Petrishchenko told TASS.

According to him, Belarusian customs officials working on the border are doing the formalities adopted by the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space.

“We are exercising reciprocal control to stop counterfeit products. This is a normal process. We haven’t backed an inch from the rules and regulations existing in the Customs Union,” the Belarusian ambassador said.

According to Petrishchenko, Belarus submits all goods entering the country to a strong veterinary control. The Belarusian consumer rights watchdog (Potrebnadzor) and the sanitary and veterinary services are trying to prevent poor quality agricultural products from entering the Russian market.

The Belarusian ambassador said that the customs bodies of both countries should work out common safety criteria for the common market to be applicable in the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space.

The Russian Federal Customs Service reported earlier that Belarus had resumed customs control at the border with Russia.

“The Russian Federal Customs Service confirms that Belarusian customs officers have resumed their work on the border with Russia. There is no customs control from our side,” Yelena Grach, the Federal Customs Service spokesperson, told TASS. She also said that truck transport had difficulties in crossing the Russian-Belarusian border.

Russia and Belarus gave up customs border control of automobile transport in April 2011 after an agreement on creation of the Customs Union between Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan had taken effect. Under the document, all vehicles crossing into the territory of the Customs Union were supposed to go through the customs at the Union’s external borders.

Eurasian Customs Union providing for a higher level of economic integration in the territories of the Customs Union states is to be created on the basis of the Customs Union on January 1, 2015.

Late last week, Belarusian Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich said that the Belarusian government would take measures to protect the country’s population and national producers from growing re-import of goods from Russia.

The Russian agricultural watchdog, Rosselkhoznadzor, has, in turn, lodged a number of claims to the quality of Belarusian agricultural products delivered to Russia and has started limiting Belarusian agricultural imports steadily.

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