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Russia ready to send inspectors to Polish meat companies

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Russian food safety experts could inspect Polish companies exporting meat products to Russia as early as November, a spokesman for Russia's food safety watchdog said on Thursday.
MOSCOW, November 1 (RIA Novosti) - Russian food safety experts could inspect Polish companies exporting meat products to Russia as early as November, a spokesman for Russia's food safety watchdog said on Thursday.

Russia imposed in 2005 a ban on meat and other agricultural imports from Poland, citing health concerns, but Warsaw said the move was political.

Last year, Poland vetoed negotiations on a new strategic agreement between Russia and the European Union, but agreed in October to grant Russian inspectors access to companies exporting meat to Russia.

"The inspection schedule will be coordinated within a week," Alexei Alekseyenko said.

During a recent EU-Russia summit in Portugal, Polish Foreign Minister Anna Fotyga urged Russia to lift the embargo and said Poland could bar Russia's entry to the WTO if Moscow failed to do so.

According to Polish data, before the embargo, the country's annual earnings from meat exports to Russia were about $560 million, or 5% of total exports.

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