- Title: RUSSIA: Russian officials show no signs of compromise in meat row with Poland
- Date: 23rd November 2006
- Summary: (CEEF) MOSCOW, RUSSIA (NOVEMBER 22, 2006) (REUTERS) SERGEI YASTREZHEMBSKY, RUSSIA'S EUROPEAN UNION REPRESENTATIVE GIVING NEWS CONFERENCE AT RUSSIAN STATE NEWS AGENCY "RIA NOVOSTI" (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) SERGEI YASTREZHEMBSKY, RUSSIA'S EUROPEAN UNION REPRESENTATIVE SAYING: "This problem is totally artificial because it's purely a technical issue that is due to a lapse in the work done by the Polish veterinary control service. That's the problem in a nutshell. I think the Polish veterinary service can solve this issue, if necessary they can turn to the European Union for help, but that is not our problem and we don't intend to make any additional efforts.'' JOURNALISTS LISTENING
- Embargoed: 8th December 2006 09:06
- Topics: International Relations
- Reuters ID: LVA8R42427N0QXWIAL4F09OQRG69
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3
- Story Text: Russia showed no sign of compromise on Wednesday (November 22) in its stand-off with Poland over meat imports, and said that all blame for the issue is on Poland.
The row between the two countries threatens to derail talks on a new partnership agreement between the European Union and Russia. Poland is protesting Moscow's ban on its meat exports to Russia.
"This problem is totally artificial because it's purely a technical issue that is due to a lapse in the work done by the Polish veterinary control service,'' Putin's top EU adviser, Sergei Yastrzhembsky, told a news conference in Moscow.
"That's the problem in a nutshell. I think the Polish veterinary service can solve this issue, if necessary they can turn to the European Union for help, but that is not our problem and we don't intend to make any additional efforts,' he added.
Warsaw has blocked the negotiating mandate for the talks to demand that Russia lift a year-old ban on imports of Polish meat and some other foodstuffs. Moscow has said it will lift the ban once its veterinary service is satisfied that Poland has stamped out fraudulent export practices.
"I have already commented on this issue many times, as have other officials, and our position is that the issue of the quality of meat exported to Russia from Poland is a Polish problem,'' said Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov.
"And therefore for the past year our [veterinary] control officials have been explaining to their Polish colleagues precisely what the problem is with their meat, as well as the meat that is labelled Polish and which has entered Russia with fake certification. I am certain that this issue can be solved quickly, but that will depend on the Polish side,'' he added.
A senior Polish official said he believed a solution could be found within 24 hours to enable his country to stop blocking a negotiating mandate for the talks, due to be launched at a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Friday (November 24).
Andrzej Krawczyk, the most senior foreign policy aide of Polish President Lech Kaczynski, told Reuters a proposal by the Finnish EU presidency had helped advance the talks and Poland was now closer to a deal.
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