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Ukrainian trucks fail to smuggle 20 tonnes of unmarked pork into Crimea

September 01, 2014, 22:40 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, September 01, /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s consumer rights’ watchdog - Rospotrebnadzor - has turned away 22 tonnes of unmarked pork and 17 tonnes of counterfeit milk at Ukraine’s border with Crimea.

Ukrainian trucks loaded with frozen herring were stopped for inspection at a checkpoint on Crimean border. The inspectors found 22 tonnes of pork for which the supplier had no accompanying documents in the truck’s body. However, 22 tonnes of undeclared pork were found in the truck’s body instead of herring during an inspection at Ukraine’s border with Crimea. The truck drivers could not give any reasonable explanation where the herring examined by Ukrainian veterinary service had gone and how it could have been replaced by pork of an unknown origin, Rospotrebnadzor said.

Seventeen tonnes of counterfeit milk were seized at checkpoint in Armyansk.

Those were not the first attempts to smuggle food products from Ukraine into Crimea after Russia had imposed a trade embargo on key food imports from the European Union, the United States, Australia, Canada and Norway.

On August 30, 60 tonnes of unmarked meat (pork, beef and poultry) were detained in Russia’s Belgorod region on the border with Ukraine.

Rospotrebnadzor banned the imports of a number of goods of Ukrainian origin into Russia because they did not meet quality and safety standards. Russia has banned the imports of milk and dairy products, potatoes, pork and cheese from 13 Ukrainian plants; juices; alcoholic drinks, beer and bear products from three Ukrainian plants; vegetables, fruit and canned fish from 7 Ukrainian companies. Russia has also restricted deliveries of sweets produced by the Roshen Company, which is owned by Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko.

According to Crimean Agriculture Minister Nikolai Polyushkin, Crimea produces 311,000 tonnes of milk a year, which is one third of its annual needs of 900,000 tonnes. A lion’s share of that milk falls on private peasant households while only 67,000 tonnes are processed at plants.

Crimea is less dependent on Ukraine in other food items because it either has its own reserves or has compensated its needs with supplies from mainland Russia. For example, the peninsula is receiving sugar-beet from the Kuban region. Meanwhile, Crimea will have to create capacities for sunflower oil production. Previously, all sunflower seeds used to be processed in the territory of Ukraine.

Crimea fully supplies itself with bread and flour products.

“We have already gathered 1.1 million tonnes of spring cereals, including 660,000 tonnes of wheat,” Crimea’s agriculture minister said.

Ukraine’s decision to cut water supplies on the North Crimean Canal had no disastrous impact on Crimea. Its vegetable production, according to Polyushkin, has dropped by just 5% since last year.

Crimea fully meets its needs in fruit and vegetables. It also meets its demands in meat and eggs by 70% and 77%, respectively.

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