Russia, Poland Agree to End Meat Dispute: Minister

Russia on Wednesday agreed to end a ban on Polish meat imports that has strained EU-Russia ties, Agriculture Minister Alexei Gordeyev said after talks with his Polish counterpart in Moscow.

"We are in complete agreement on resuming deliveries of meat products from Poland," Gordeyev told journalists.

"An agreement will be signed next week in Kaliningrad," Gordeyev said, promising that imports would resume immediately afterwards.

Gordeyev was speaking after talks with Poland's new agriculture minister, Marek Sawicki, amid hopes that the arrival of Poland's new liberal prime minister, Donald Tusk, would help ease relations between the two countries.

Moscow imposed the embargo in November 2005, accusing Poland of shoddy food safety standards. Warsaw claimed the ban was groundless and a purely political move against Poland's then conservative-nationalist government.

The dispute took on a wider dimension last year when Poland used its veto power within the European Union to scupper the start of talks on a new trade and partnership agreement between the bloc and Russia.

Tusk, who took office last month after winning a snap election, has pledged to try to resolve the dispute and rebuild ties with Russia.

Source: AFP

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