Russia plans to start exporting halal poultry meat to the Middle East in 2015, with the first shipments expected to be sent to Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), stated a spokesman for Rosselkhoznadzor, the Russian federal service for veterinary and photosanitary serveillance.

“Like all Arab countries, Qatar is interested in grain import from Russia. However, now we’re discussing their ability to purchase poultry production, cattle and small cattle. They are certainly interested in production that has passed halal control and meet the demands allowing Muslims to eat it,” Alexey Alexeyenko, assistant to the head of the Rosselkhoznadzor, said in a report published by the Mi’Raj Islamic News Agency.

Alexeyenko said he believes the export of halal poultry from Russia is a promising trend, not only because growth in the halal market would help further increase poultry production in Russia, but also because it could help create new jobs in Russia.

Rosselkhoznadzor stated that as of June 2014, all meat produced in Russia was officially certified as halal, but by the year 2020, as much as 20 percent of the meat and poultry produced in Russia could gain halal certification as the largest agricultural holdings plan to start production of halal poultry, beef or mutton.