MOSCOW, July 21 /TASS/. Kremlin will not politicize a possible ban on imports of Dutch tulips into Russia and does not link the issue to Russia’s objection to creating an international tribunal to investigate the MH17 crash that occurred in Ukraine a year ago.
"I am not an advocate of politicizing this issue. The more so that [deliveries of flowers from the Netherlands to Russia] is not part of the Kremlin agenda," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Tuesday. He said the Russian Federal Service for Veterinary and Phyto-Sanitary Control [Rosselkhoznadzor] and the Russian Agriculture Ministry should give all the necessary explanations.
Rosselkhoznadzor is considering a possibility of banning the transit of plant products from the Netherlands to Russia, the service’s press secretary Yulia Melano told TASS.
"Rosselkhoznadzor is studying a possibility to forbid flower imports from the Netherlands because of quarantine objects that have been found in shipments of Dutch-originating products," Melano explained. She added that the Netherlands was a major transit hub for Latin American flowers and that a ban on deliveries of plant products from the kingdom could seriously hurt the economies of third countries.
Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin described the Dutch-launched initiative to create an international tribunal to investigate the MH17 crash as "early and counterproductive." According to media reports, Dutch tulip producers believe that the two things are interlinked.