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14 February 2020, 17:23

Some Belarusian foods banned from Russian food expo for unknown reasons

Ivan Smilgin. An archive photo
Ivan Smilgin. An archive photo

MINSK, 14 February (BelTA) – The Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance of Russia (Rosselkhoznadzor) has yet to officially notify the Belarusian side why the agency has forbidden the display and sampling of some Belarusian dairy products as part of the international food expo Prodexpo 2020 in Moscow, BelTA learned from Ivan Smilgin, Deputy Agriculture and Food Minister, Director of the Veterinary and Food Oversight Department of the Belarusian Agriculture and Food Ministry.

In his words, all the companies willing to participate in Prodexpo 2020 (including those, which are temporarily forbidden to export their products to Russia) contacted the Veterinary and Food Oversight Department. In turn, the department compiled a list of the companies and ran it past Rosselkhoznadzor. The Russian side was given information about the companies and about the products they were going to put on display. “We've received confirmation that all the 35 enterprises – meat-packing plants, poultry industry enterprises, and dairy companies – have the right to participate in the expo,” the official said.

The key requirement was to route all the food through preliminary notification stations and provide veterinary certificates. “They could have been even hardcopies,” Ivan Smilgin specified.

Yet despite the agreement on all the key aspects the day before the Rosselkhoznadzor website published information that over 620kg of Belarusian dairy products are no longer eligible for display, sampling, and sale during the expo.

Ivan Smilgin went on saying: “We don't have information what companies have forfeited their products and for what reasons. Certainly, we would like to know what our colleagues complain about.” The official added that the situation is not critical because a company participating in the expo usually brings about 300-500kg of merchandise to put on display and therefore the seized foods do not represent a significant share of the total. Besides, all the Belarusian companies continue participating in the expo.

Prodexpo is a major international expo of food and beverages in Russia and Eastern Europe. Prodexpo 2020 is scheduled to take place on 10-14 February. The expo features foods from all over the world ranging from staple products to delicacy ones as well as organic food, sport nutrition, food for a healthy lifestyle, and exotic foods.

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