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Russia could halt import of lactose-free dairy products from EU — reports

June 17, 2015, 10:11 UTC+3 MOSCOW
A great amount of European cheese is supplied to Russia under the guise of lactose-free milk products
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© Ilya Pitalev/TASS

MOSCOW, June 17. /TASS/. Moscow could suspend the import of lactose-free milk products from the EU countries, under the guise of which a great amount of cheese is supplied to Russia, the Kommersant business daily reported on Wednesday.

Such measures are demanded by Russia’s consumer rights watchdog, Rospotrebnadzor. The foreign suppliers of these products will have to obtain a special certificate allowing them to deliver only lactose-free dairy products for dietary nutrition, according to the report.

The watchdog has asked the country’s federal accreditation service to revoke declarations of the foreign manufacturers of lactose-free milk products saying they were adopted "in violation of the established procedures."

Russia’s national dairy producers union, Soyuzmoloko, said since March 2015 France, Italy and other EU countries have significantly increased the exports of lactose-free milk products to Russia.

France exported to Russia 78.4 tonnes in January-February, compared with 304 tonnes and 120.6 tonnes in March and April, respectively. Italy supplied 30 tonnes to Russia in January-February, compared with 50 tonnes and 49 tonnes in March and April, respectively.

Russia introduced an embargo on food imports in August 2014 in retaliation to the sanctions imposed by the United States, Australia, Canada, the European Union and Norway against Moscow over its stance on developments in neighboring Ukraine.

Russia’s food embargo involves a one-year ban on meat, fish, dairy, fruit and vegetable imports from the countries that slapped sanctions against Moscow.

The Russian government softened its food embargo later that month by excluding lactose-free milk products from the list of banned imports. Since then, these products have been supplied to Russia under a declaration of compliance.

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