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Russia may send inspectors to Belarus to control European food re-export

September 23, 2014, 18:53 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Tougher control is connected with increasingly frequent attempts by Western suppliers to circumvent Russia’s ban on food imports by illicitly re-exporting European fruit and vegetables through Belarus
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© EPA/YANNIS KOLESIDIS

MOSCOW, September 23. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s veterinary inspection service Rosselkhoznadzor may send its inspectors to Belarus to control re-export of European products Moscow has banned from entry in response to Western sanctions over events in Ukraine, the agency said on Tuesday.

“We will ask the Belarusian side to allow our experts to carry out phytosanitary checks on the outer boundary of the Customs Union,” Rosselkhoznadzor head Sergey Dankvert said, adding that the Russian side had also suggested that Belarusian counterparts check cargoes on the Polish and Lithuanian borders.

Joint work may last from one to two months until Belarus implements an electronic system called Argus Phyto to track the movement of fruit and vegetable cargoes on the territory of the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, Dankvert said.

The Russian regulator is also stepping up control within the country, setting up new phytosanitary control posts on roads, he said.

Tougher controls are connected with increasingly frequent attempts by Western suppliers to circumvent Russia’s ban on food imports by illicitly re-exporting European fruit and vegetables through Belarus, Dankvert said.

The ban announced at the start of August bars imports of meat, fish, dairy, fruit and vegetables from the United States, the 28-nation European Union, Canada, Australia and Norway for 12 months in retaliation for sanctions imposed by those nations on Russia over the events in Ukraine.

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