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Russia may ban Ukrainian onion imports next week — official

August 01, 2014, 19:06 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Rosselkhoznadzor officials revealed Thursday a dangerous pest — the golden nematode — in recent batches of onions imported from Ukraine

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© ITAR-TASS/Dmitry Rogulin

MOSCOW, August 01. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia may ban onion imports from Ukraine starting next week, a senior official at the federal agricultural watchdog agency Rosselkhoznadzor said Friday.

Rosselkhoznadzor officials revealed Thursday a dangerous pest — the golden nematode — in recent batches of onions imported from Ukraine.

“We have invited the Ukrainian side for talks,” said Alexei Alexeyenko, Rosselkhoznadzor’s deputy director, adding that they had received no answer so far.

On July 28, the agency imposed a ban on imports of vegetative products from Ukraine in private individuals’ luggage, passengers’ hand-carried luggage and mailings.

It also banned the imports of products of animal origins, dairy products and milk because of a possible presence of quarantine objects in them. And it imposed restrictions on imports of Ukrainian potatoes for fear of the presence of golden nematode in the products and pork due to the threat of African Swine Fever (ASF).

Rosselkhoznadzor warned on July 23 that it would have to restrict the imports of all foodstuffs from Ukraine if the government in Kiev failed to enforce the Eurasian Customs Union’s requirements for imported European products before ratification of the Ukraine-EU association agreement.

Another Russian agency that exercises control over production and turnover of food products, Rospotrebnadzor, earlier banned the candies produced and supplied by the company Roshen (that belongs to the incumbent Ukrainian President, Petro Poroshenko). The agency had claims against the quality and safety of the Roshen factories’ products.

On July 29, it also banned the imports of canned vegetables, fruit and fish alongside fruit juices from Ukraine for non-compliance with quality and safety requirements.

According to the Federal Customs Service, Russia’s food imports (except for drinks) from Ukraine reached a total of 229,600 tons worth $495 million since the start of 2014. The bulk of Russia’s imports from Ukraine consist of dairy products ($106.3 million); chocolate and other cocoa-containing products ($63 million); fruit juices ($21.1 million) and canned vegetables ($20.5 million).

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