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MOSCOW, 6 March. /TASS/. Following Greece’s lead, Poland has asked Russia’s veterinary and phytosanitary watchdog (Rosselkhoznadzor) to negotiate food exports to Russia, Rosselkhoznadzor’s chief Sergei Dankvert said on Friday.
"On the one hand, our Polish colleagues, along with the Lithuanians, used to say that they needed no bilateral agreements with Russia, but, on the other hand, they contacted us suggesting a working group on veterinary and phytosanitary control be held to spacify how to work in the bilateral regime," he told the Rossiya 24 television channel. Such talks are to be held in March 2015, he noted.
The Rosselkhoznadzor chief said that earlier in March his agency had received a letter from Greece asking to look at possible lifting of the Russian food imports ban. Greece’s ministry of agriculture, in his words, had asked Rosselkhoznadzor to commission Russian specialists to Greece to hold a seminar of safety requirements in respect of various types of food products. "They put it like this: if you lift the ban, such products will immediately reach the Russian market," he said.
Dankvert warned that even if Russia lifted its ban on food imports from the European Union, European products would not be allowed to the Russian market should Rosselkhoznadzor have any claims. However, he underscored, issues of the ban’s lifting were in the competence of the Russian government.
On August 7, 2014, Russia imposed a package of measures to respond to economic sanction from the United States, Australia, Canada, the European Union and Norway. Thus, Russia banned for a term of one year the imports of fruit, vegetables, milk and dairy products from these countries. Some types of ready-to-eat meat and fish products (with the exception of sausages) have not fallen under the ban.