News 929 views last update:Feb 25, 2016

Russia: Ban on live pigs from Estonia may not be lifted

At a recent meeting the Minister of Agriculture of Russia, Nikolai Fedorov, and the Minister of Agriculture of Estonia, Helir-Valdor Seeder, discussed the possibility of lifting the ban on imports of live pigs from Estonia to Russia.

The Russian side proposed to import the finished pork products rather than live pigs.

"We have common interests with Russia to continue the joint trade. However, instead of live animals Russia now prefers the finished product," said the Minister of Agriculture of Estonia Helir-Valdor Seeder after a meeting.

"With Minister Fedorov we discussed the possibilities for the development of trade between Estonia and Russia. We are still deciding on lifting the ban on imports of live animals from the EU, and we are looking for a possible agreement with Russia on this. But we should keep in mind that Russia now prefers the finished product, "said Seeder.

Russia in March this year banned the supply of live pigs from Estonia, due to violation of health standards by the producers. As a result, approximately two thirds of pork produced in Estonia had to find new sales markets.

"Prior to the ban, Estonia supplied Russia with 200,000 pigs annually, but now we lost the opportunity. To date, we have proposed the European Commission to raise this issue at the World Trade Organization, so WTO could influence Russia and force it to withdraw these restrictions. But in the course of such bilateral meetings we also are contributing to the acceleration of this process," added Seeder.

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