Russia may limit 'poor quality' dairy imports from Belarus

Milk in a glass. © Alexandr Kryazhev
Russia's food and safety watchdog has warned Belarus it may put restrictions on dairy products from the country if it continues to export poor quality and unsafe food products.

“The main subject of the dialogue between two countries was imports of low-quality and dangerous dairy products to Russia,” said a statement on the Rosselkhoznadzor website after phone talks between the head of the office Sergey Dankvert and Belarusian deputy agriculture minister Aleksandr Subbotin.

The Belarusian side needs to take meaningful steps to solve the problem, according to  Rosselkhoznadzor.

The watchdog referred to the imports of dehydrated milk products, which failed to meet food safety standards of the Customs Union. If the similar violations are spotted, the Russian side will have to impose restrictions on the imports from Belarus or certain Belarusian companies.

Russia has imported over 304 tons of dairy products from Belarus since the beginning of the year.

Last November, the watchdog limited milk and fish produced by 13 Belorussian factories. The step came as the firms allegedly used raw materials, manufactured in third countries, including those under the Kremlin's food embargo.

Russia’s Agriculture Minister Aleksandr Tkachyov said Russia had no intention to fully suspend supplies of dairy products from Belarus.