Warsaw slams Russian ban on Polish fruit
July 31, 2014
Officials in Warsaw Wednesday slammed a Russian ban on most fruit and vegetable imports from Poland, describing it as "political repression" designed to retaliate for Western sanctions against Moscow over Ukraine.
Russia said its “temporary limitation" on imports of Polish farm products including apples, pears and cherries was imposed for sanitary reasons. The ban comes into force on Friday.
But Poland’s Agriculture Minister Marek Sawicki “is convinced that the embargo amounts to political repression in response to the restrictions imposed by the European Union against Russia," the agriculture ministry in Warsaw said in a statement.
Russia announced its ban a day after the EU and United States imposed their first sanctions aimed at a range of sectors in the Russian economy, including banks, defense and oil companies.
"The infringements of phytosanitary requirements which are quoted by the Russian party in relation to the temporary ban on Polish products did not occur," the Polish agriculture ministry added.
The Western sanctions on Moscow were prompted by the downing of a Malaysia Airlines flight over Ukraine that the West has blamed on Russia-backed rebels in the east of the country.