The Russian Government intends to introduce temporary restrictions on all imports of meat from the Ukraine. According to reports in the Russian newspaper RIA Novosty, these restrictions will come into effect from 20 January.

The new regulations will be put in place in response to the November outbreak of bird flu in the Crimea, which has resulted in the culling of 150,000 domestic birds.

"In accordance with regulations and international rules, the Russian Agricultural Agency will temporarily restrict all meat imports from Ukraine starting 20 January, 2006," the Agriculture Ministry is reported to have said.