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MOSCOW, October 8. /TASS/. Belarus guarantees control over the re-export of food products Russia has banned from entry in response to Western sanctions over events in Ukraine, the country's Agriculture Minister Leonid Zayats said on Wednesday.
The republic complies fully with the requirements of the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, Zayats told an agro-industrial exhibition.
“If Russia imposes an embargo, we support those directions concerning restrictions (on imports) of certain products,” he said, adding that transit food shipment cargoes were entirely under the control of the country’s veterinary service.
“Cargoes are being discharged and examined, alongside their markings and documents are being checked,” the minister said. “We have reached certain understanding with (Russia’s veterinary inspection service) Rosselkhoznadzor in this regard.”
Russia and Belarus agreed to establish a special working group to improve control over food supplies. “We have discussed issues of creating a joint group to coordinate activities to prevent sanctioned positions,” Zayats added.
Tougher re-export 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.
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.