Mind and Body

Russia Says to Lift Ban on EU Vegetables From Aug 9



Russia will lift its ban on raw vegetables from all European Union countries starting on Tuesday, August 9, the head of the country's consumer watchdog was cited by Russian news agencies as saying on Monday.

Russia banned imports of raw vegetables from the European Union on June 2 due to a deadly E.coli outbreak. Moscow later agreed to drop the ban provided it received safety guarantees and has since allowed imports from some EU nations.

The EU, which exported about 600 million euros ($850 million) worth of vegetables to Russia last year, had said the blanket ban was not scientifically justified.

"I took a decision to lift all the restrictions on imports of vegetables from the European Union  from Tuesday, August 9," Interfax news agency quoted consumer protection agency Rospotrebnadzor chief Gennady Onishchenko as saying.

"On top of that a special regime which required an issuance of special certificates for each shipment of vegetables is also being lifted," Onishchenko was quoted as saying.

The blanket ban strained Russia's relationship with the EU, its biggest trading partner, at a time when the country is seeking to complete its negotiations to join the World Trade Organization (WTO).