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Russia preparing to ease food embargo for Greece

April 02, 2015, 14:59 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Greece sent a letter to the Russian veterinary and phytosanitary watchdog on March 3 asking to lift restrictions for imports of strawberries, kiwi fruits, peaches, fish and seafood
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© EPA/ALKIS KONSTANTINIDIS

MOSCOW, April 2. /TASS/. Russia's veterinary and phytosanitary watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor is launching an inspection of Greece’s agro-industrial enterprises on April 20, a spokesperson for the agency said on Thursday.

The list currently consists of 20 enterprises and could include more, Yulia Trofimova said.

Russia’s Economic Development Minister Alexey Ulyukayev said in early March that Russia would look into ways of easing the food embargo for Greece and Hungary which do not contradict the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Later Rosselkhoznadzor said it planned to start checks at the live-stock enterprises of Greece, Cyprus and Hungary to speed up the beginning of supplies from these countries if the food embargo is lifted.

An aide to the Rosselkhoznadzor head, Alexey Alekseyenko, told TASS the inspections would be carried out only at the live-stock enterprises that were not earlier accredited for exports to Russia, while the crop enterprises may get access to the Russian market upon guarantees from the respective agency of Greece.

The meeting of the Rosselkhoznadzor representatives and Greece’s plenipotentiary ambassador to Russia was held on Thursday in Moscow at the initiative of the Greek side.

Greece sent a letter to the Russian veterinary and phytosanitary watchdog on March 3 asking to lift Russia’s temporary restrictions for imports of a range of Greek goods. Greece asked to allow the supplies of strawberries, kiwi fruits, peaches, fish and seafood.

Russia’s food embargo is in force until August 8. The Russian government banned the imports of key foods from the European Union, Canada, the United States, Norway and Australia.

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