Russia lifts ban on Czech, Greek vegetable imports

Russia has lifted a ban on vegetable imports from the Czech Republic and Greece imposed last month by the Russian government, the head of Russia’s food safety watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor said on Monday.

Russia introduced the embargo on vegetable imports from Europe on June 2 after an E.Coli bacteria outbreak caused a pandemic in Europe. The bacteria killed at least 40 people in Europe.

“The import and sale of vegetables from the Czech Republic and Greece is allowed in Russia from July 11, 2011 on the basis of certificates guaranteeing its safety,” the watchdog said.

Russia has already lifted a ban on vegetable imports from Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Spain.

The Russian authorities have said they will lift the ban after the source of the E.Coli infection is identified and the EU takes measures to prevent the supply of infected vegetables to Russia.

Russia and the EU agreed a special regime on June 22 to allow European vegetable imports into Russia before the embargo was lifted. The regime requires European laboratories to check the safety of products before their delivery to Russia.

Russia will not hasten to open its market to German vegetable imports as Germany has registered the largest number of E.Coli infection cases and the source of infection has not yet been positively identified, Rosselkhoznadzor head Gennady Onishchenko said earlier this month.

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