On Monday, a ban introduced by Russia's Federal Service for Veterinary Supervision on imports of prefabricated meat products from Poland and Lithuania came into effect. It is estimated that due to this ban Lithuanian companies will lose approximately LTL 14 million or EUR 4 million each month.
The Russian agency expressed concern that thermal meat processing might not always be effective at destroying the African swine fever virus, which was fraught with the threat that the virus would be brought to the territory of the Russian Federation.
Both the Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk consider Russia's decision to be unrelated to the position of Lithuania and Poland over Crimea.
After bilateral negotiations last week failed, the European Commission made a political decision to turn to the World Trade Organization (WTO) over Russia's embargo on meat products from the EU, reports ELTA.
Russia has announced the ban will remain in force until Polish and Lithuanian meat inspections, production enterprises, which will be differentiated on a regional basis, are conducted. Making this decision, the watchdog took into account an unconstructive position assumed by Poland and Lithuania at the talks held in the end of March, at which problems of safety of meat products were discussed.
Earlier, a ban on imports of pork to Russia from all EU countries had been imposed (on January 30, 2014) in connection with an outbreak of African swine fever on the territory of the European Union.