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Polish minister to arrive in Moscow for meat ban talks next week

MOSCOW, December 4 (RIA Novosti) - Polish Agriculture Minister Marek Sawicki will arrive in Moscow next week to discuss the possibility of ending Russia's two-year meat ban, the Russian agriculture minister said on Tuesday.

Russia's ban was enforced over accusations that Poland was supplying poor-quality meat from third countries. In retaliation, Poland vetoed talks on a new Russia-EU partnership and cooperation agreement.

"I have invited the Polish agriculture minister for talks next week in Moscow," Alexei Gordeyev said.

The ban on Polish meat has proved a major source of tension between the countries. Center-right politician Donald Tusk's victory in Polish parliamentary elections in October prompted hopes that Warsaw would take a more accommodating stance on disputes with Russia, including on the meat issue.

Poland recently agreed to admit Russian experts to its meat factories, signaling a reversal of the government's position under the former prime minister, Jaroslaw Kaczynski. The government had previously insisted that Moscow first lift its embargo.

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