Russia eyes importing agricultural produce from Paraguay

MOSCOW, (PNA/ITAR-TASS) — Russia’s agricultural watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor is likely to accredit more Paraguayan exporters of meat and milk products as well as fruits and vegetables, the watchdog said in a statement Friday.

The statement was issued following a meeting on Friday between Rosselkhoznadzor chief Sergei Dankvert and Paraguayan Ambassador to Moscow Ramon Diaz Pereira.

“Russia is interested in supplies of meat, dairy, fruit and vegetable products from Paraguay,” the statement said.

Paraguay’s Veterinary Service pledged to submit with Rosselkhoznadzor in the nearest future names of meat- and dairy-supplying companies to be included in the list of accredited companies by Russia, the statement further said.

Meat and dairy products imported from Latin America seems feasible for Russia after the country announced a set of agricultural sanctions against the West.

In response to Western sanctions, President Vladimir Putin signed Wednesday a decree imposing a one-year ban on imports of agricultural, raw and food products from countries which imposed sanctions against Russia.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev announced Thursday the Russian government imposed a one-year ban on imports of beef, pork, poultry, fish, cheeses, fruit, vegetables and dairy products from Australia, Canada, EU, the U.S. and Norway.

The list of banned products includes cattle meat (fresh, chilled and refrigerated), pork (fresh, chilled and refrigerated), poultry meat and all poultry edible by-products, salted meat, pickled meat, dried meat, smoked meat, fish and shell fish, clams and other water invertebrates, milk and dairy products, vegetables, edible roots and tuber crops, fruits and nuts, sausage and analogous meat products, meat by-products or blood, as well as products made of these and ready-to-eat products including cheeses and cottage-cheese based on vegetable fats.

The U.S., EU and Japan introduced various sanctions against Russia after Crimea’s merger with the country and over Moscow’s alleged involvement in the armed standoff in Ukraine’s southeast.

Moscow repeatedly rejected threats of broader sanctions, saying penalties are counter-productive and will strike back at Western countries.