Russia reportedly to ban processed meat products from Lithuania; total losses due to ban could reach US$36B

VILNIUS, Lithuania , April 2, 2014 () – Ban on processed meat products from Lithuania will allegedly be imposed by Russia on April 7, said the Eurasian country's watchdog of veterinary and phytosanitary safety on Wednesday.

Poland is also included in the ban list, said Rosselkhoznadzor, Russia's veterinary and phytosanitary safety service.

"In the past, there were more announcements like this, and we will look for decision together with the European Commission," said Lithuania's Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius in Brussles on Wednesday to ELTA, the Baltic country's newswire.

Jonas Milius, director of the State Food and Veterinary Service of Lithuania, told local media on Wednesday that he had not received official information from Russia about the ban. However, he confirmed that Lithuania and Russia have been negotiating about meat product certificate issues with no effective agreement being reached.

The allegedly ban will follow a block of all EU pork products imposed by Russia on January 29, due to African swine fever virus detected in wild hogs near the Polish-Lithuanian border.

Total losses due to Russian meat imports ban to Lithuania could reach as much as 90 billion LTL (36 billion U.S. dollars) per year, estimated by Lithuanian Association of Meat Producers.

Lithuanian food producers have been looking for alternative export markets recently, including Asia. Some argue that finding another market to replace Russia is nearly impossible in the short term. Russia is Lithuania's biggest export market for dairy and meat products.

(c) 2014 Xinhua News Agency

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