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Russia Plans Cheese Imports From Iran

Russia is seeking to find new food suppliers after banning a range of imports from Western countries.

Iran is ready to start shipping cheese to Russia, a little over a year after Moscow imposed an embargo on dairy products from most European countries, a Russian agricultural official said Tuesday.

Iranian dairy products to be supplied to Russia have successfully passed an inspection by Russia's agricultural watchdog, Rosselkhoznadzor, Alexei Alexeyenko, an assistant to the watchdog's chief, said in an interview with the Russian News Service radio station.

A special protocol on supply conditions must now be signed before Iran can begin shipments, Alexeyenko said.

Russia is seeking to find new food suppliers after banning a range of imports from Western countries in August last year in response to sanctions imposed by the U.S. and European Union over the Ukraine crisis. Originally a one-year embargo, the government this summer extended it for another year.

Officials aim to eventually increase domestic production of food to compensate for lost imports, “but we will have to buy dairy products, especially cheese, from other countries for some time,” Alexeyenko said.

Producers from Turkey and India are also interested in supplying cheese to Russia, Alexeyenko told the TASS news agency earlier this year.

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