The 17th month-long embargo by Moscow on Polish meat imports may be lifted in the near future.
Russia is sending inspectors in the company of EU experts to Polish meat production facilities. The ban was originally enforced as Moscow felt health standards were not being maintained and the Polish government had failed to deal with smuggling.
Vital trading partner
25% of Poles work in agriculture with half a million pig farmers alone. As a result of the ban, Poland lost 6% of its export market, but did succeed in sourcing new markets, but Russia still remains a vital trading partner.
The meat industry maintains that international standards are being met. According to Witold Choinski of the Association of Polish Meat Importers and Exporters, Poland’s meat sector has invested €2b in modernising the industry during the preparations for EU accession.
It is still believed that background to the ban was Moscow’s attempt to punish Poland for not allowing Russian pipelines through the country and for allowing Poland to be a contender for a U.S. anti-missile shield.