Polish produce breached sanitary standards, Moscow claimed

Polish produce breached sanitary standards, Moscow claimed

Russia has slapped a temporary ban on fruit and vegetable imports from Poland, claiming the products breach its standards.

Rosselkhoznador, the country's federal veterinary and phytosanitary control agency, issued a statement yesterday (30 July) saying it is to introduce a ban on several Polish fruit and vegetable products after it discovered "systematic violations of international and Russian phytosanitary requirements".

The ban comes days after the EU imposed fresh sanctions on Russia in the wake of the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine. The plane is alleged to have been shot down by pro-Russia rebels, who the West claims have been supported by Moscow.

"Rosselkhoznadzor considers it necessary to introduce from 1 August 2014 as a temporary emergency phytosanitary measures restrictions on imports to Russia from Poland and Polish imports through third countries," the Russian food safety body said.

Items affected include apples, pears and quince, apricot, cherries, plus all vegetables except mushrooms.

In an interview with Reuters, a spokesperson for Rosselkhoznador said the move "was part of a VPSS plan to consider restricting all or some fruit imports from the entire EU". However he denied the restrictions stemmed from the EU sanctions.

Bloomberg had reported Russia was also mulling the ban of chicken from the US, which has joined the EU in imposing sanctions on parts of the Russian economy.

No-one from Rosselkhoznador was available for comment when approached by just-food.