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Official: Russia may lift food embargo in 6 months

Food

Russia is considering lifting the ban on agricultural imports from Hungary and six other countries, and trade could resume within six months, according to reports. Russia announced the ban on farm imports from Europe last year, not long after the European Union announced that Russia would face economic sanctions because of the Ukraine conflict.

Hungarian companies have undergone scrutiny and were found to have met all food safety requirements, paving the way for the relaunch of exports to Russia, pending a decision by the authorities, government commissioner Gyula Budai said on public television late yesterday.

Moscow banned food imports from EU member states last August, in an apparent response to EU sanctions against Russia. But the head of Russia's animal health authority said over the weekend that the ban would be lifted for six countries, including Hungary, and mainly affect deliveries of pork.

The program M1 Hírado reported that the ban could be lifted in six months. Hungary's farm sector has lost HUF 10 bln due to the ban. Poultry processor Hungerit alone has had to forego exporting 1,500 tons of product, worth approximately HUF 1 bln, to Russia.

Industry insiders and analysts said earlier that Russia's ban on farm products from the European Union will not have a significant impact on Hungary.

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