Russia rejects German food safety guarantees offer

Russia has rejected as ‘unacceptable’ Germany’s timetable for measures to provide safety guarantees for food supplies to the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, the food safety and sanitary watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor said on Wednesday.

Germany’s veterinary service said it may take six months to draw up a plan of measures to ensure the safety of food supplies, review the list of food suppliers and provide food safety guarantees.

Rosselkhoznadzor announced last week that Germany should take measures within a week to guarantee the safety of food supplies to Russia or face restrictions in livestock exports.

“We consider this proposal as unacceptable, considering the increasing threat, especially the serious outbreak of an infection caused by the highly pathogenic E.Coli strain and the spread of the pathogenic avian flu combined with systemic faults in the work of Germany’s veterinary service,” Rosselkhoznadzor said in a statement.

Russia introduced an embargo on vegetable imports from Europe on June 2 after the E.Coli bacteria outbreak caused a pandemic in Europe. The outbreak was blamed on bean sprouts grown on a farm in Germany’s Lower Saxony region, some 70 km (40 miles) south of Hamburg.

Russia lifted the ban on vegetable imports from several European countries in late June after the source of infection was identified and the EU pledged measures to prevent the supply of infected vegetables to Russia.

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