MOSCOW, August 14. /TASS/. Russia's food safety watchdog on Friday said it was ready to include some 200 Chinese fish processing plants in the list of enterprises allowed to supply their products to the country.
The plans were announced in the course of a telephone conversation between Yevgeny Nepoklonov, deputy head of Russia’s veterinary and phytosanitary service Rosselkhoznadzor, and Bi Kexin, deputy director of China’s Import and Export Food Safety Bureau at the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), the agency said.
"Rosselkhoznadzor confirmed its readiness to immediately start work to include in the Russian list some 200 Chinese fish processing plants willing to supply their products to member states of the Eurasian Economic Union [the new Russia-led political and economic bloc formed with Kazakhstan, Belarus, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan]," the agency said, adding that the list would be expanded as soon as the Chinese side provided more detailed information on those companies’ activities.
The talks also focused on Chinese specialists’ upcoming visit to Russia. Chinese experts are planning to visit a number of Russian meat processing plants interested in exports to China. Rosselkhoznadzor had earlier forwarded to the Chinese side the list of Russian enterprises to be subject to inspection.
The Russian agency said it was now waiting for a decision from AQSIQ on the exact dates of the visit and the composition of the Chinese delegation of experts.
Fish imports from China are believed to offer prospective additional volumes to replace other nations' imports Russia has blocked in response to the West's Ukraine-related sanctions.
A one-year ban announced last August bars imports of meat, fish, dairy, fruit and vegetables worth $9 billion a year from the United States, the 28-nation European Union, Canada, Australia and Norway in retaliation for sanctions imposed by those nations on Russia over events in Ukraine.
Since then, Russia has been in talks with Latin and South American countries, the Middle East and Asia to replace prohibited produce.
In June, President Vladimir Putin signed a decree to extend Russia’s embargo on Western products until August 2016.