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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

EU Welcomes Meat Ban Report

BRUSSELS -- Russia has sent a broadly positive report to the European Commission after joint veterinary inspections to determine whether to keep its ban on Polish meat, the European Union executive said Thursday.

"The letter is in many ways positive about progress made by the Polish authorities in response to Russian concerns," commission spokesman Philip Tod said in a daily news briefing.

He said the commission would send Russia further information early next week to try to remove outstanding questions, and EU Health Commissioner Markos Kyprianou would meet his Russian counterpart next week to discuss the dispute.

Poland is blocking the start of negotiations on a new EU-Russia strategic partnership to demand the lifting of the 16-month ban.

The Russian Agriculture Ministry's veterinarian watchdog on Wednesday offered new joint inspections as a step towards lifting Moscow's ban, but the commission said it saw no need for experts visiting Polish meat plants again.

"We believe we can provide additional information and clarification to address their concerns so we have not taken the view so far that it would be necessary to have any further inspections," Tod said.

Tod said Kyprianou would meet Russian Agriculture Minister Alexei Gordeyev next week to try to resolve the dispute.