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Russia bans animal fats, offal from EU
[MOSCOW] Russia said on Monday it will ban European Union meat products including pork, chicken and beef fats and offal, widening a ban on European food imports in a tit-for-tat trade spat.
The government agriculture watchdog, Rosselkhoznadzor, is imposing the ban from Tuesday, spokesman Alexei Alekseyenko told AFP.
He said the "temporary restrictions" covered beef and pork offal, flour made from meat and meat offal and beef fat, pork fat including lard and chicken fat.
Russia has already banned meat imports from the European Union in August in retaliation for sanctions imposed by the 28-member bloc over the Ukraine conflict.
Russia acknowledged the latest measure was intended to fix a loophole in the sanctions.
"Some types of meat products including offal could still be supplied to Russia from European Union countries even after the (sanctions) entered force," the agriculture watchdog said in a statement.
It said the "systematic and serious nature of breaches" of food hygiene by European Union producers made the measure necessary.
It said it had found 17 cases of imports of substandard offal from Austria, Germany, Denmark, Italy and Poland in the last two months.
Russia this summer imposed sweeping restrictions on imports of fish, fruit and vegetables and dairy products from European Union countries and the United States, as well as Australia, Canada and Norway.
The bans, set to last a year, came in response to US and European economic sanctions imposed on Russia over its perceived role in the conflict in Ukraine. AFP