Russia to receive fatal bacteria strain from EU on Monday

Russia expects to receive on Monday a strain of the highly virulent E.Coli infection that has killed over 30 people in Europe and forced the Russian authorities to impose a ban on vegetable imports from the European Union, Russia’s sanitary chief Gennady Onishchenko said on Sunday.

“The strain has been sent by the Rome research center, which cooperates with the World Health Organization. But we have not received it yet, considering that today is Sunday,” Onishchenko said.

Russia suspended fruit and vegetable imports from the European Union early in June after the highly virulent strain of the E. coli bacteria had killed 38 people in Europe. The move sparked criticism from EU officials for going against World Trade Organization policy. Russia pledged to keep the embargo until the source of infection was identified.

The virus is reported to be traced to bean sprouts grown on a farm in Germany’s Lower Saxony region, some 70 km (40 miles) south of Hamburg.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has said the country will lift the ban after it receives guarantees from Brussels that the supplies are safe.


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