Russia delays ban on Belarusian milk, dairy products
Russia's Federal Veterinary and Phytosanitary Monitoring Service (Rosselkhoznadzor) on Monday postponed the introduction of a temporary ban on imports of Belarusian-made milk and some dairy products until March 6.
The agency announced last week that the ban would take effect on February 26. It explained that Belarus continued supplying Russia with unsafe dairy products. The blacklisted dairy products include cream, buttermilk and buttermilk powder, condensed milk and cream, milk protein concentrate, and powdered milk and cream.
A Belarusian government delegation, including Deputy Prime Minister Mikhail Rusy, Agriculture Minister Leanid Zayats and Deputy Agriculture Minister Ivan Smilhin, met with Russian officials in Moscow on February 26 to discuss the situation. It was not immediately known whether the talks had prompted Rosselkhoznadzor to delay the ban.
In an earlier statement, Rosselkhoznadzor raised questions over the efficiency of food quality control in Belarus and said that banned food produced in the European Union continued to be smuggled into Russia through Belarus.
In addition, it expressed concern about the growing volume of food brought to Russia from Belarus by individuals without accompanying documents and "allegedly for personal use."
On February 23, Syarhey Sidorski, a member of the board of the Eurasian Economic Commission and Belarus' former prime minister, said that the ban was in violation of Eurasian Economic Union regulations and may not take effect.