The EU's Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health has approved a European Commission proposal to add three Russian dairies to the list of establishments authorised to export milk and dairy products to the EU.

This is the first time Russian dairy producers have been authorised to export to the EU. Approval of the three dairies follows guarantees from the Russian authorities that the establishments comply with the relevant EU food safety rules and an inspection visit of the Commission's Food and Veterinary Office earlier this year.

"This is yet another signal of the good co-operation between Russia and the EU. I am satisfied that our mutual trade in foodstuffs will further develop while respecting food safety legislation of both sides," said David Byrne, Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection.

A European Commission Decision enacting this change will be published in the EU's Official Journal in the coming weeks after which exports can start. The Russian authorities will inspect the three companies on a regular basis to ensure they continue to comply with EU standards. Inspectors from the European Commission's Food and Veterinary Office also have the right to conduct inspections.