Dutch official to Moscow over vegetable ban

7th June 2011, Comments 0 comments

The Netherlands' deputy agriculture minister will travel to Moscow on Wednesday to discuss a Russian ban on vegetables from Europe after a deadly bacterial outbreak, a statement said.

Deputy minister Hans Bleker "will look at what possibilities exist for the resumption of (Russian) imports of Dutch vegetables," the agriculture department in The Hague said in a statement.

Bleker is to meet Russian Agricultural Minister Elena Skrynnik and visit a Russian vegetable and fruit market, it said.

Second to Germany, Russia was the Netherlands' main export client with some 150 million euros (219 million US dollars) in annual vegetable exports, agricultural ministry spokesman Murco Mijnlieff said.

Russia, which has banned all EU vegetable exports amid a killer E. coli outbreak, said in Brussels on Tuesday the best it could offer was to relax restrictions state-by-state upon production of individual safety guarantees.

© 2011 AFP

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