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Russia Bans Imports of EU Meat Products

  • VOA News

Russia has suspended imports of some European meat products. Here, a cow feeds its calf at a farm near Krasnoyarsk, a city in eastern Siberia, Oct. 4, 2014.

Russia has suspended imports of some European meat products. Here, a cow feeds its calf at a farm near Krasnoyarsk, a city in eastern Siberia, Oct. 4, 2014.

Citing health concerns, Russia on Monday announced new sanctions on meat products from the European Union, widening its restrictions on Western food products.

Its federal supervisory agency for agriculture, the Rosselkhoznadzor, said "temporary restrictions" will go into effect Tuesday on European beef and pork offal – the entrails and internal organs such as liver and kidneys – as well as beef, pork and chicken fat.

The agency said it imposed the ban because "banned and harmful substances," including antibiotics, had been found in these meat products and byproducts. It did not identify the other substances.

Earlier this year, Russia had imposed restrictions on foods from Europe and the United States that were widely seen as retaliation for Western sanctions over its annexation of the Crimean peninsula and its support for separatists in eastern Ukraine.

On Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov criticized those sanctions. He said the crisis and resulting sanctions were being used, primarily by the United States, to impose its leadership "on the entire Euro-Atlantic space" and to "put Russia in its place." He noted that the EU imposed its latest sanctions on Russia after Ukraine's government and the Russia-backed separatists signed a cease-fire agreement last month.

The foreign minister made his remarks in Moscow at a public lecture organized by the ruling United Russia party.

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