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Russia to Add Turkish Zucchini and Pumpkins to Food Embargo

Russia will ban imports of Turkish zucchini and pumpkins from May 19 after detecting the presence of a pest in a number of the vegetables, Russia’s agriculture watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor announced, the Interfax news agency reported Monday.

“We decided to introduce temporary restrictions on the import of zucchini and pumpkins as objects [which had to be quarantined] were detected in them,” Rosselkhoznadzor deputy head Yulia Shvabauskene was quoted as saying by Interfax.

However, the watchdog has canceled a planned total ban for all Turkish fruit and vegetable imports.

“Most likely, we will not place an embargo upon everything,” Shvabauskene told the TASS news agency, adding that only certain products will be banned, as the Turkish side has started “active negotiations.”

Rosselkhoznadzor has been informed that Turkey has strengthened quality control on fruit and vegetable exports, Shvabauskene added.

Russia banned imports of Turkish eggplants, peppers and pomegranates over the past two months. Lettuce recently joined the list of forbidden Turkish vegetables.

Russia banned a number of food imports from the EU in August 2014 in reaction to sanctions imposed on the country for its role in the Ukraine crisis. Since 2015, all food illegally brought into the country is destroyed, the Meduza news website reported.

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