Egypt, one of the world’s largest potato exporters, threatened on Tuesday to take retaliatory measures against Russia if it keeps a ban on Egyptian potato imports.
“We’ll not find our hands tied in a situation, which has no justification, and will take retaliatory measures against Russian exports on a principle of reciprocity,” Egyptian Industry and Foreign Trade Minister Mahmoud Eissa was quoted by Mena news agency as saying.
Russia’s agricultural watchdog restricted potato imports from Egypt on June 3, 2011, citing health concerns. The watchdog claimed dangerous agents were systematically found in potato supplies from Egypt.
The watchdog then partially lifted the ban but in September 2011 re-imposed restrictions on potato imports from Egypt, citing the same health concerns.
Russia has said it will lift the ban if Egypt supplies potatoes from the fields where potatoes are grown for EU member countries. Russia has also said the ban will be lifted, if Egypt allows Russian inspectors to check the entire chain of potato production and supply in the country.