Russia may ban German meat imports due to the spread of a highly virulent E.Coli infection in Germany and other European countries, Russia's veterinary chief Nikolai Vlasov said on Tuesday.
"Everything will depend on the infection dynamics in Germany. In case of catastrophic developments, the ban is possible," Vlasov said.
Russia suspended fruit and vegetable imports from the European Union early in June after the highly virulent strain of the E. coli bacteria had killed almost 40 people in Europe. The infection was traced to bean sprouts grown on a farm in Germany's Lower Saxony region, some 70 km (40 miles) south of Hamburg.
The European Union says that the infection is spreading through vegetables while Russian veterinary authorities believe that livestock production in Germany is to blame. Germany imports a large amount of vegetables while exporting considerable volumes of meat. Judging from the number of people who have contracted the disease, the center of infection is located in Germany, Vlasov said.