Magazine article Europe-East

Eu/russia : Meat Talks End in Deadlock

Magazine article Europe-East

Eu/russia : Meat Talks End in Deadlock

Article excerpt

EU Health Commissioner Markos Kyprianou and Russian Agriculture Minister Alexei Gordeyev have failed to break a stalemate over the 16-month Russian ban on Polish meat and agricultural products, an issue which continues to block the launch of negotiations on a new agreement between Brussels and Moscow. The two sides were unable to move beyond simply identifying the points of disagreement and committing to continuing discussions.

"Of course, we discussed the issue of Polish exports to the Russian Federation. We are struggling to find solutions but we haven't finished yet. We will continue the talks," said Commissioner Kyprianou, commenting on the outcome of two days of negotiations which took place on 21 and 22 April in Limassol, Cyprus.

Despite the EU's assurance that Poland has introduced all necessary changes in its veterinary and phytosanitary system, Russia upheld its demand for additional "obligatory" EU-Russia inspections to be carried out in Poland. The demand for further checks is included in a joint plan of action', which Gordeyev submitted to Kyprianou.

"We are aware of the fact that our European counterparts expected more from these negotiations, but our prime interest is in restoring order in the meat markets, in particular with respect to Polish products," Gordeyev said. The EUa- the German Presidency in particulara- is determined to make progress over the meat ban row as soon as possible. The German government, for which the new agreement is a priority, struggles to break the stalemate early enough to make sure talks on a new accord could start at the high-level meeting in May. …

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