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Poland Asks EU to Intervene in Food Transit Row With Russia

Apples are displayed at a fruit and vegetables market in Warsaw, Poland.

WARSAW — Poland has asked for European Commission help to keep Russia from blocking Polish shipments of goods through Russian territory, the Polish infrastructure and transport ministry said.

Last week, a Polish association of transport companies said Russia was blocking shipments of some goods to other countries, such as Kazakhstan, Mongolia and the Caucasian countries.

The ministry's press office said on Wednesday that Polish Deputy Prime Minister Elzbieta Bienkowska had sent a letter to the European Commission asking it to "prepare an intervention in regard to actions of the Russian Federation blocking the transit of Polish transports through its territory."

Russia banned most fruit and vegetable imports from Poland last month and extended the embargo to the rest of the European Union this month. The ban was imposed in retaliation for Western sanctions against Moscow over Russia's role in the Ukraine crisis.

Russia's Customs Service denied any wrongdoing when the issue emerged last week and said it was allowing Polish goods to pass through.

Customs Union members Kazakhstan and Belarus did not join in Russia's ban on foodstuffs from the EU. In theory, Polish exports could be shipped to Belarus or Kazakhstan and from there re-exported to Russia, side-stepping Moscow's embargo.

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