There are no signs that the Russian ban on imports of pig meat from the European Union (EU) will be lifted in the near future, reports the British Pig Executive (BPEX). The Russian ban on EU pig meat has been in place for since January 29, after African swine fever (ASF) was discovered in the EU mainland.
The discovery of ASF in the EU invalidated the existing veterinary certificate, which states that the EU is free of ASF. Negotiations have so far failed to reach agreement on a new certificate, although according to BPEX, reports suggest Russia is prepared to accept imports from countries considered to be at low risk of introduction of ASF, such as the Netherlands, Denmark and France. However, Russia wants to exclude pig meat products from other member states, an approach which the EU Commission has refused to agree to.
The EU Commission has since filed a lawsuit against Russia at the World Trade Organization (WTO). The commission says Russia’s response to cases of ASF in the EU has been inconsistent with Russia’s response to the cases of African swine fever in Belarus, which continues to supply pork products to Russia. If the two parties fail to reach an agreement within 60 days, the WTO will set up a panel to determine the legality of Russia’s actions.