Magazine article Europe-East

Eu/russia : Moscow Pledges to Lift Ban on Eu Vegetables

Magazine article Europe-East

Eu/russia : Moscow Pledges to Lift Ban on Eu Vegetables

Article excerpt

Russia will lift its ban on the import of all fresh vegetables from the EU, which was imposed after the E.coli outbreak in Germany, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has said. Meeting at a two-day summit, on 9-10 June in Nizhny Novgorod, the EU and Russia agreed that imports of fresh vegetables to Russia will be resumed "without any delay" and as soon as a special system of certification is put in place.

"We are happy that we have agreed that the ban on vegetables from the European Union will be lifted, that the system of certification of the vegetables' safety by the European Commission will be put in place without any delay," European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso told a press conference following the summit, on 10 June. He added that the blueprint for the certificate will be ready "today or tomorrow".

Russia imposed the ban last week after the outbreak of a rare strain of E.coli bacteria in Germany and other EU countries.

PROGRESS BUT NO AGREEMENTS

The leaders have reported progress on two other major issues, namely Russia's WTO accession bid and the visa-free regime dialogue. They were not, however, in a position to announce any concrete agreements. "Russia's accession to the WTO is still possible this year," said Barroso. "To this end, Russia and the EU will engage in intensive talks on the sanitary and phytosanitary standards (SPS) and investment rules in the automotive sector," he added, expressing hope that a compromise will soon be reached on these two outstanding issues. …

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