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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russians Recall Vets From EU

The country's top food safety official said Monday that the government had recalled animal health inspectors from 12 European Union states after the EU had guaranteed exported food safety and was ready to discuss ending a ban on Polish meat and plant products.

"The EU has assumed the responsibility of the safety of food it exports to Russia. And we currently see no reason to doubt these guarantees," said Sergei Dankvert, head of the Agriculture Ministry's animal and plant health watchdog.

"So we have called back veterinary inspectors we had kept in 12 EU states under bilateral agreements with these countries."

He said the inspectors would be deployed to strengthen veterinary controls over meat products imported to Russia at border posts and laboratories.

He said, however, that after recalling the inspectors, Russia might be forced to impose wider bans on countries with outbreaks of animal diseases.

"If previously we were able to send inspectors to a province where a disease was registered to ban imports from this very province, now we will not be in the position to do that. So we will probably have to ban imports from the whole country," Dankvert said.

At the end of 2006, Russia threatened to cut some meat and plant exports from the EU from this year as it was unsure whether new EU members Bulgaria and Romania met food safety standards.