Russia bars pork imports from 70 EU companies

26-06-2008 | | |

This has been reported by EU officials on Tuesday, ahead of an EU-Russia summit.

Traces of antibiotics
The problems started in April this year, when Moscow began refusing certain imports because they contained traces of antibiotics.

It has been reported that now 70 companies, from seven EU nations – Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy and Spain – have been placed on the Russia embargo list, representing restrictions on produce worth “certainly more” than 100 million euros (156 million dollars).

“Of course Russia has the right to its norm and to not want traces of antibiotics. But there must be clear rules which are not applied in an arbitrary manner,” said an official.

Denmark is the worst affected country, which has seen its pork exports to Russia halved.

The commission suspects Russia is seeking to boost its national producers. According another official, “There is a suspicion,” as the measures appeared “shortly after Russia officials called for higher levels of self-sufficiency in the farm sector.”

Matter resolved by stopping use of antibiotics
Vladimir Chizhov, Moscow’s ambassador to the EU, said Russia was obliged to take the action due to “concerns linked to public health.” Chizhov added that the matter could be “easily solved by stopping the use of antibiotics.”

“It is the habit of the European Union to give antibiotics to pigs as a preventative measure, but that can pose problems for human health,” as the antibiotics in question are still used in human medicine in Russia, he stated.

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