MOSCOW: Russia’s plant health watchdog has seized and destroyed around 588kg (1,296lbs) of banned vegetables since last Wednesday, in two separate seizures involving produce from Poland and Turkey.
Polish produce has been embargoed by Russia since August, 2014 as part of countersanctions against the EU, while Turkish fruits and vegetables have been banned since the start of this year in response to the downing of a Russian jet near the Turkish-Syrian border last year.
The Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (Rosselkhoznadzor) said 338.4kg (746lbs) of Turkish tomatoes were destroyed by officials in Orenburg, near the border with Kazakhstan, on Jan. 13.
The next day customs officials in the southern city of Voronezh seized 250kg (551lbs) of Polish mushrooms, which were destroyed in a landfill.
Then on Jan. 15, authorities in Chelyabinsk intercepted a range of agricultural items purported to be from Kazakhstan and Pakistan, leading to fines and an order to return the goods, which were listed as 20 metric tons (MT) of wheat, 5MT of apples and 800kg (1,767lbs) of tangerines.
The consignment was sent back due to a lack of phytosanitary certificates.
The watchdog’s head Sergey Dankvert also recently gave a warning to Iranian traders on radio station Russkaya Sluzhba Novostey, urging them not to attempt to re-export banned Turkish goods into Russia.
“Rosselkhoznadzor warned Iran about inadmissibility of transit of Turkish goods through the country,” Dankvert was quoted as saying.