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Russia sign deal on plant-based food imports

The European Union and Russia signed an agreement on Wednesday to soothe Moscow’s concerns over high pesticide residues in imports of plant products destined for human consumption, the European Commission said. 

“The purpose of the memorandum is to create mechanisms and a dialogue with Moscow when Russia identifies at import too high levels of residues of pesticides and contaminants in EU plant products for human consumption,” it said in a statement. The agreement was signed by Sergei Dankvert, head of Russia’s plant and veterinary authority, and a senior official from the European Commission’s food safety unit.

One of Russia’s longest-running disputes in this area has been with Poland. Moscow imposed a ban on Polish agricultural imports saying they had forged certificates -- although Warsaw said the restrictions were politically motivated. (Reuters)