Citrus fruits were among produce banned

Citrus fruits were among produce banned

Russia has relaxed its ban on produce from Egypt after meetings between officials from both countries.

Moscow introduced a ban on imports of fruit and vegetables from Egypt on 22 September, claiming the country's importers had broken Russia's phytosanitary rules.

A statement on the website of Rosselkhoznadzor, Russia's federal service for veterinary and phytosanitary surveillance, said officials had agreed to resume the exports of produce from Egypt except potatoes.

Rosselkhoznadzor said Egypt still had to meet Russia's requirements on ensuring potatoes were free from pests. A Russian delegation will visit Egypt this month or in November to look at the measures Cairo plans to introduce to meet Moscow's demands.

There had been claims Russia had introduced the ban on Egyptian produce after Cairo's decision in August to introduce a ban on the imports of Russian wheat, due to its high content of spurred rye.

When contacted by just-food last month ahead of Moscow's ban going live, Julia Shvabauskene, deputy head of the Rosselkhoznadzor, said: "The introduction of the ban became the result of the lack of effective operation from the phytosanitary system in Egypt, which resulted in the regular discovery of banned substances in the Egyptian products [such as the Mediterranean fruit fly in the Egyptian fruits]."

Shvabauskene declined to comment on whether Russia's move was connected to the Egyptian ban on wheat.