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Polish minister to visit Moscow for meat ban talks Dec. 12

MOSCOW, December 10 (RIA Novosti) - Polish Agriculture Minister Marek Sawicki will meet with his Russian counterpart in Moscow on December 12 to discuss ending Russia's two-year meat ban, the Polish Embassy said on Monday.

Russian Agriculture Minister Alexei Gordeyev invited his Polish counterpart to Moscow last week to discuss existing problems in the delivery of Polish agricultural products to Russia.

Russia's ban on meat imports from Poland 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.

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.

In November Poland 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.

Last week Russia also imposed temporary restrictions on the import of poultry, eggs and all poultry products from Poland following an outbreak of bird flu in the country.

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