Russia bans Baltic fish over food safety charges

Russia has banned the import of fish and fish products from Latvia and Estonia, announced Sergey Dankvert, who heads Russia’s veterinary and phytosanitary service Wednesday.

The general director of Rosselhoznadzor said the prohibition would go into effect beginning Thursday, June 4 and stay in place until the “situation is regulated”, reported BNS newswire.

“We are not satisfied with product safety guarantees and inspection systems at these companies,” he said, adding that consultations with Latvian and Estonian specialists would continue.

However Anna Joffe of the state Food and Veterinary Service (PVD) said there had been no official receipt of such announcement from the Russian side by close of business Wednesday.

Fish canneries Gamma-A and Līcis-93 would take the hit hard and probably have to suspend production, but said the sector wasn’t expecting much help from the state.

“Let’s not be naïve. All we can ask from the state is not to kill off the fish producers with its tax policies,” plant chief Aivars Lejietis told BNS.

Meanwhile company representatives from Brīvais vilnis and Karavela told BNS they would make it through the rough times.

“It’s not pleasant but we’ll be able to survive,” said Karavela co-owner Andris Bite, citing the troubles the sector experienced in 1998, when a similar move by Russia threatened fish exports.

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Economy
Economy