Pork exports from the EU to Russia are being disrupted following the discovery of African swine fever in two wild boar killed by hunters in Lithuania.
Russia is stopping trucks carrying EU pork from crossing its border in a move that EU health commisioner Tonio Borg described as disporportionate.
“I deeply regret that our Russian partners are effectively banning exports even from EU Member States which are clearly not affected by the incident,” he said. “The commission reiterates that in view of the reassurances provided, such a ban is disproportionate.
“I intend to meet the Russian authorities as soon as possible to agree on a reasonable solution to solve this problem.”
Russia has responded that it hasn’t imposed a ban, but that under bilateral trade agreements the EU can no longer issue the necessary veterinary certificates to export pork to the country.
“The EU should stop certification, thus prohibiting the delivery of pork products,” a representative of the country’s animal health watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor said.
Mr Borg said the European Commission had proposed to provisionally exclude the infected area of the EU from certification of exports of live pigs and pork to Russia, but Russia was not ready to accept. The Russian authorities had been given assurances on the effectiveness of EU measures put in place and provided with evidence indicating that the disease was confined to the southern part of Lithuania.
“I would like to stress that the measures taken on the EU side correspond to international standards,” Mr Borg said. “I call again upon the Russian authorities to take into account all the evidence presented to them.”