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Russian phytosanitary watchdog bans vegetable imports from Albania

December 03, 2014, 13:28 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The country was used as a cover for imports from the EU through Belarus and so-called fake transit to Kazakhstan, head of Russia's veterinary and phytosabitary watchdog says

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© ITAR-TASS/Artyom Korotayev

MOSCOW, December 3. /TASS/. Russia’s Federal Agency for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Supervision (Rosselkhoznadzor) has introduced a ban on the imports of vegetables from Albania starting from December 8, the watchdog head Sergey Dankvert told TASS on Wednesday.

“Albania was used as a cover for imports from the EU through Belarus and so-called fake transit to Kazakhstan,” Dankvert said.

The decision was made based on the results of joint work with the Albanian side, he said. The joint investigation has detected a firm that was engaged in forging Albanian phytosanitary certificates at a printing house in the Czech Republic, the official said. Forged documents are not identified at Belarus’ border, he added.

Albania failed to provide the service with information on its fruit and vegetables output necessary to compare the increased amount of supplies to Russia with the real Albanian harvest.

“The next stage is Macedonia, Bosnia and Switzerland. We will hold a meeting on them later this evening,” Dankvert said.

According to him, the service will discuss the reopening of meat supplies from two Belarusian companies on Thursday. The supplies of meat products from a number of Belarusian companies were prohibited due to quality reasons in the course of November.

In August, Russia banned imports of beef, pork, poultry, fish, cheese, dairy products, fruit and vegetables from Australia, Canada, Norway, the US and the EU for one year to retaliate Western sanctions.

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