Russia lifts ban on Italian, Hungarian vegetables: officials

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Russia will next week resume vegetable imports from Italy and Hungary after imposing an embargo on the 27-nation EU bloc due to Germany's killer E. coli outbreak, the consumer watchdog said on Friday.

Early last month Moscow imposed a blanket ban on European Union vegetable imports after an outbreak of E. coli in Germany that has now killed at least 50 people.

The EU condemned the move as disproportionate and without scientific basis.

Vegetable imports from Italy and Hungary will resume from Monday, the Rospotrebnadzor consumer watchdog said in a statement.

In the past few weeks the consumer watchdog has gradually permitted imports from the Netherlands and Belgium, Spain, Denmark, Greece, the Czech Republic and Poland.

The European Union imports 1.1 million tonnes of vegetables, worth around 600 million euros ($847,698) to Russia every year, according to the European Commission.

© 2011 AFP

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