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    RUSSIA CAN SUSPEND MEAT IMPORT FROM EU NATIONS

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    MOSCOW, February 3 (RIA Novosti) - From May 1st, Russia can suspend the import of meat products from EU nations, Chairman of the Veterinary Department of the Russian Agriculture Ministry, Yevgeny Nepoklonov said on Tuesday in Moscow. According to him, this will happen only if old veterinary certificates expire by May 1st and new ones are not coordinated.

    A spokesman for the ministry recalled that Russia opposed the current system of veterinary control in EU nations.

    In particular, the thing is that certificates for importing products in the EU's nations are issued by EU veterinary experts whereas export certificates for the EU's nations are issued by the national veterinary service of the exporting country, Russia comes out against double standards and insists that a single veterinary certificate be introduced for both sides, Nepoklonov said.

    Last March Moscow officially warned its EU partners about this and offered drafts of such a certificate. Besides, Russia announced the need for a relevant agreement between the EU's and the Russian veterinary commissions. However, the process has got stalled, said a spokesman for the Russian agriculture ministry.

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