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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russia Lifts Bans on EU Plants

Russia lifted a ban on importing plants from Belgium and Denmark starting Wednesday, Interfax reported, citing Sergei Dankvert, head of the Federal Service for Veterinarian and Vegetation Sanitary Supervision.

Russia banned plant imports from Denmark on Jan. 18 and imports from Belgium on March 17, the news service reported. The ban was imposed after inspectors found plants infested with thrips, a winged pest that can affect cereals and fruit trees.

Both countries have to introduce new safety certificates required by the Russian government, Interfax said, citing Dankvert. Russia will also require special certificates for imports of plants bought by Belgium and Denmark from other countries, he said.

The European Union on March 15 agreed to Russian demands for a new system of certificates for products from vegetables to flowers, lifting the threat of a trade ban. The EU agreed to produce a single certificate for plants and plant products to cover all of its 25 countries.

Also on Wednesday, the Agriculture Ministry temporarily banned imports of Italian poultry due to an outbreak of bird flu in northern Italy, the ministry said in a statement.

The ban affects imports of live birds, incubated eggs, poultry and all other products containing bird meat that has not undergone thermal treatment, the statement said, citing cases of bird flu in Italy's Brescia province.

On Tuesday, Russia also temporarily banned the importation and transit of horse meat and related products from Moldova, the ministry said, without giving reasons. It also did not say how long the bans would remain.

(Bloomberg, AP)