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Russia to Stop Meat Imports From Moldova

Russia will stop imports of Moldovan meat.

Russia will halt meat imports from Moldova starting Oct. 27, news agency TASS reported Wednesday.

"In certain instances, meat from Moldova has come from unidentified sources and is unsafe by veterinary-sanitary measures," Sergei Dankvert, head of food safety watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor, told TASS.

Russia will also consider suspending meat imports from Belarussian enterprises that use unprocessed meat from Moldova, particularly if Belarus does not ban Moldovan meat, Dankvert told news agency RBC.

Rosselkhoznadzor also plans to impose stricter controls on meat from Belarus, which has "more liberal" measures of control than Russia, Dankvert said.

Moldova has become increasingly estranged from Russia since July, when it ratified association deals with the European Union. In late July, Russia imposed import duties on Moldovan meat, vegetables, fruit, grains, sugar, malt beer and wine.

Russia is Moldova's second-largest trading partner after the European Union, at 25.5 percent of trade, according to European Commission statistics.

Other neighbors have faced similar restrictions this year: Rosselkhoznadzor on Wednesday decided to stop all imports of fruits and vegetables from Ukraine, and in July, Russia threatened to end a 20-year free-trade agreement with Georgia.

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