Russian, Polish officials to reportedly talk after May 10 to discuss Russian embargo on Polish fruits and vegetables; embargo issued due to concerns over high levels of pesticides, nitrates

WARSAW, Poland , April 23, 2014 () – Earlier on Wednesday Russian news agency ITAR-TASS wrote that Russia's Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (Rosselkhoznadzor) planned talks with Poland on a Russian embargo on Polish fruit and vegetables. According to the agency, the talks would take place after May 10.

According to Rosselkhoznadzor, Polish products "on numerous occasions" posed a threat to the health of Russian consumers due to high levels of pesticides and nitrates.

Marek Sawicki reported having received the letter from Russian authorities at a meeting of the Sejm (lower house) Agriculture and Rural Development Committee on Wednesday. "It is not an embargo warning, but asking our inspection services and the minister to increase the strictness of the control procedures," Sawicki said.

Out of 50,000 phytosanitary certificates issued in 2013, irregularities were found in just two batches of products, according to the Agriculture Ministry data.

It is unlikely that Russia will impose an embargo on Polish fruit and vegetables because there is high demand for Polish apples among Russian consumers and most Russian stock of the fruit has already been sold, PAP was told by Miroslaw Maliszewski, the head of the Association of Polish Fruit Growers.

The total value of Polish fruit and vegetable exports to Russia tops EUR 1 billion annually, according to Russia's statistics. (PAP)

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