Russia has banned the import of all raw vegetables from the EU amid fears over the deadly E. coli outbreak centred on the German city of Hamburg.
It extends a ban already imposed by Moscow on German and Spanish vegetable imports. Brussels has branded the move “disproportionate”.
Madrid meanwhile looks poised to take legal action against German authorities after Spanish cucumbers were initially blamed for the outbreak.
Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said: “The German federal government must be aware that it has an overall responsibility to other EU states and we are going to forcefully ask for explanations and demand adequate compensation.”
German officials have backtracked, admitting the latest tests showed the Spanish cucumbers do not carry the dangerous bacteria strain linked to the outbreak.
The infections have killed 17 people, 16 of them in Germany, and more than 1,500 others have become ill in eight European countries.