Russia has banned all imports of fresh vegetables from the European Union as the diplomatic fallout from the mystery E.coli outbreak ratchets up a notch.
The EU has branded the Russian response as disproportionate and called on Moscow to end its ban on raw vegetables from the union.
The Russians said that European sanitary legislation simply does not work.
German health officials admit that the origin of the infection that has killed 18 people may never be discovered.
Germany claimed, wrongly, that Spanish cucumbers were to blame shattering the Spanish fresh vegetable market.
Spain is furious and wants compensation for its farmers.
Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero laid out the Spanish position:
“We have acted correctly and we will continue to seek compensation for the damage done and we will work to reposition Spanish products on the international market. The initial reaction and the attempts to politicise the problem has been a huge mistake by the German authorities and as far as the Spanish government is concerned, totally unjustified.”
Spanish producers say they lost hundreds of millions of euros in sales and the crisis could result in 70,000 jobs going down the pan.