Russia may consider banning poultry imports from EU members if the European Commission goes ahead with a plan to lift restrictions on Belgian, Dutch and German poultry.


Restrictions on the transport of poultry were imposed due to an outbreak of highly contagious avian flu, which emerged in the Netherlands in February.


“The EC has said it will lift the restrictions July 11. We consider the step is premature and we’ll have to take the adequate steps to protect Russian producers from the danger,” a Russian agriculture ministry official was quoted by Dow Jones as saying. “Spread of the disease might deal a bad blow to the domestic sector, which has just started growing.”


The EU is one of Russia’s main poultry suppliers and has been allocated a quota of 139,900 metric tons for May to December.


There have been no recorded cases of avian flu in Russia in the last 15 years, reported Dow Jones Commodities Service.