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Russia to block more trade with Lithuania

Apr 04, 2014
From wire reports, VILNIUS

Russia to block more trade with Lithuania

On Friday, Lithuania's Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius charged Director of the State Food and Veterinary Service (VMVT) Jonas Milius with the duty to immediately solve the technical problems that were the reason for the planned Russia's embargo on all kinds of prefabricated meat products from Lithuania from April 7.

On Friday morning, Lithuania's Prime Minister, Minister of Agriculture Vigilijus Jukna, Director of the VMVT and Director of the Lithuanian Meat Processors Association Egidijus Mackevicius discussed the current situation and made the very first decisions.

After the meeting, Milius specified that the restrictions were to be imposed only on pork and its products and that there were to be no restrictions on other types of meat.

"The Director of the VMVT has to take various measures on the technical level while speaking with the Russia's Federal Service for Veterinary Supervision. Moreover, he has to inform the European Commission (EC) what he is doing on the technical level, when the isolation of so-called risk zone where the African swine fever was detected will be ended (). And, of course, the VMVT has to take the control of the existing risk," said the Head of the Government after the meeting.

The Prime Minister and the Minister of Agriculture were sure that Russia's ban on pork from Lithuania was related to the sanitary aspects and not to the political reasons.

"We think that this is due to the technical reasons," said the Prime Minister.

"Everything started when 2 focuses of the African swine fever were detected in Lithuania and, of course, this has to be solved on the technical level," said the Minister of Agriculture.

The Government hopes to solve this problem within a period of 2 months. This is a term given to the bilateral negotiations before turning to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

"At first, there are 60 days of the talks and negotiations," said Butkevicius.

According to the Prime Minister, Lithuania could not directly negotiate with Russia. Therefore, the country's institutions had to actively cooperate with both sides.

"So far, the bilateral negotiations are impossible because the EC is negotiating. I think that this would be treated as the violation of the Lisbon Agreement" said Butkevicius.

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