Food safety experts from the EU have made little headway in trying to lift a year-old Russian ban on exports of meat products from Poland. Failing a breakthrough by the end of this month, Russia has threatened to blockade all EU meat. Moscow has also cited salmonella and listeria concerns over French, German, Dutch and Belgian meat.
A European Commission spokesman in Brussels summed up: “The talks yesterday were very technical and were based on a detailed point by point presentation by the Russian officials of certain deficiencies that their inspectors identified in Poland. In the Commission’s view, none of the deficiencies raised by the Russian authorities are systemic, nor do they justify a trade embargo.”
Moscow banned Polish meat and plant products more than a year ago on health safety grounds. Warsaw described that ban as politically motivated and vetoed talks between Brussels and Moscow on a new EU-Russia cooperation pact until it was lifted.