The European Union has denounced Russia's decision to temporarily stop the import of European pigs.
The European Commission said earlier this week that the import stop is not justified. The Russians motivate their decision by pointing at the Schmallenberg virus, found in cattle, sheep and goat herds in several EU countries.
According to the EU in Brussels this virus does not pose a direct threat to public health. The measure, which came into effect last Tuesday, would also be in contradiction to rules set by the World Trade Organization (WTO).
In addition, pigs cannot be infected with the Schmallenberg virus. So far, the Commission has not tried to convince the Russians to decide otherwise.
The Russian Federation will join the WTO in August. As from then, it will become impossible to introduce import bans that contradict international trade regulations.
The Schmallenberg virus leads to deformations in offspring. The import ban mainly affects the industries in the Baltic states Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia.
• World Trade Organization (WTO)
• European Commission