Russia vegetable ban 'not compliant' with WTO entry: EU
Russia's ban on all vegetable imports from the European Union is not compliant with World Trade Organisation entry rules, the EU envoy said Friday as Moscow seeks to join the global trade bloc this year.
Fernando Valenzuela, the head of the EU delegation to Russia, urged Moscow to lift the ban imposed in the wake of a lethal bacteria outbreak in Germany as soon as possible.
"Russia wants (to join) and we hope will actually join the WTO in the near future," he told a news conference in Moscow.
"One of the aspects of joining the WTO are a number of regulations... and certainly the ban that has been decided by the sanitary authorities of Russia is not compliant with those rules.
"It is a little surprising you are taking measures that go in the opposite direction," he added.
Russia, which opened negotiations to join the WTO in 1993, is the largest economy to remain outside the Geneva-based body but had been hoping to finally complete talks on its accession this year.
© 2011 AFP