Russia's Federal Veterinary and Phyto-Sanitary Oversight Service (Rosselkhoznadzor) and the European Commission's Directorate General for Health & Consumers will continue talks concerning problems with exports of products from European Union countries to Russia.
Rosselkhoznadzor head Sergei Dankvert and Ladislav Miko, deputy director general at DG Health & Consumers, agreed during telephone negotiations on Tuesday that they will meet in Moscow between Feb. 25 and March 1, the Russian watchdog said.
They remarked in the talks that one of the main problems is the absence of a product traceability system in EU countries that would make it possible to trace the source of raw material from which finished products are made. This was in large part the reason for Russia banning imports of meat and dairy products from three German states effective Feb. 11.
Dankvert said the scandal in the EU over horsemeat found in hamburgers was a consequence of the absence of an effective product traceability system.
Miko said in the talks that the EC is working hard on resolving problem issues that led to the ban on imports from Germany, Rosselkhoznadzor said. Dankvert questioned the effectiveness of such an approach given that Germany itself, not the EC, is responsible for the safety of exports from Germany. He believes a direct dialog is needed with Germany's veterinary service.
Rosselkhoznadzor recalled that some time ago another EU country, Poland refused to have a direct dialog with Russia, resulting in lost time and the deepening of existing problems.
"Now our confidence in the veterinary service of Poland is far higher than in the veterinary services of other countries," Dankvert told Interfax. "After the dispute that occurred a few years ago, we found a common language and now work effectively."
Dankvert said that he would meet this week with Poland's Ambassador to Russia Woitech Zaionckowsky to discuss the outlook for expanding Polish meat exports to Russia.
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