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Berlin is not eating Polish meat

Warsaw will no longer be able to claim that Russia is turning down its meat for political reasons. The local sanitary services of the Berlin district of Moabit have qualified Polish meat as health-threatening.

Initially, they did not even have to conduct sophisticated tests. The meat looked so bad that the police immediately arrested five tons of Polish turkey. At first, the sanitary services became suspicious about mandatory certificates. They not only failed to conform to the German rules, but were not even properly executed. So, Poland has exported meat without even bothering about paperwork.

After studying meat samples, the veterinary and sanitary services and experts from the institute of food, medicines and animal diseases passed their verdict - the meat is unfit for consumption. News from Berlin has given Moscow another excuse to say what it thinks about Polish meat. After the summit in Samara, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in no uncertain terms that the EU was unanimously interested in an early lifting of a ban on meat imports from Poland.

Today, she may find it difficult to uphold this position, especially after President Vladimir Putin has responded with a rather tough remark. He said that the arrest of Polish meat in Germany confirmed its problematic quality. During the talks with Portuguese PM Jose Socrates, he made it clear that at the forthcoming summit in the German city of Heiligendamm he would not hurt Merkel's pride: „I won't tell her: 'You wouldn't eat this meat yourself but want to feed it to me.' I won't say that.”

Moscow is not refusing to lift the ban on Polish exports to Russia. During his recent talk with Minister of Agriculture Alexei Gordeyev, Putin emphasized that this question should be settled as soon as possible by experts. He said this after Gordeyev complained to him about delays in the Warsaw-Brussels talks. Moscow's desire to get out of the deadlock is easy to explain. Exerting pressure on major European countries, Warsaw has vetoed the adoption of a new EU-Russia agreement.

The incident in Berlin may encourage the EU to seek an early end to the meat row. Warsaw is already saying that the Berlin incident should be seen as a single case and unfair practices of an individual supplier. But this single case attests to a trend. Poland has sent patently dangerous meat without any paperwork. Such cases happened before but were not made public knowledge. Now it is clear that the problem is more serious. It has nothing to do with politics but threatens the health of consumers both in Moscow and Berlin. (en.rian.ru)