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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Inspectors Allowed to Check Meat

Russian food-safety officials plan to begin inspections of food producers in Poland as the countries seek to end a two-year dispute over meat quality that has stalled Russia's talks on a key accord with the European Union, an Agriculture Ministry official said Wednesday.

"Russia and Poland reached an agreement on joint inspections of Polish meat plants that will begin on Nov. 13," Alexei Alekseyenko, a spokesman for the Agriculture Ministry's food watchdog, said after officials from the two countries and the EU held talks in Moscow.

Russia will send 10 officials for two weeks of inspections, Alekseyenko said. The schedule and the plants to be inspected will be determined after the inspectors arrive in Warsaw. More than 60 meat plants in Poland are interested in selling their products in Russia and have agreed to inspections, he said.

The agreement comes two days after the Polish prime minister's resignation. His likely successor, Donald Tusk, has said he wants to improve relations with Russia, while President Vladimir Putin urged his government in May to resolve the dispute.

Russia banned meat imports from Poland in November 2005, citing health concerns. Polish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski's government responded by blocking talks on a new Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, the principal document defining relations between the EU and Russia, which expires at the end of this year.