RUSSIA - The Russian Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Supervision (Rosselkhoznadzor) has decided to partially lift the ban on imports of canned fish from Estonia and Latvia despite the continuing political tensions between Russia and the Baltic States, writes Jaroslaw Adamowski for The Fish Site.
Rosselkhoznadzor said that it is prepared to resume the import of Estonian and Latvian canned fish products from a number of companies.
However, Sergey Dankvert, the head of the state-run institution, announced that a full restoration of imports would not be happening at this time, as reported by local broadcaster ERR.
In June 2015, when the ban was introduced, Rosselkhoznadzor said that the output of Estonian and Latvian fish and seafood processing facilities did not comply with Russia’s veterinary and sanitary standards.
This said, Estonian authorities have claimed that the measure was Moscow’s reaction to the European Union’s sanctions that were placed on the Russian economy following the country’s military intervention in eastern Ukraine.
Last June, Russian and Kazakh food safety inspectors arrived to Estonia to visit four local processing facilities. Rosselkhoznadzor’s inspectors were also in Latvia where they inspected local plants. Russia and Kazakhstan are members of the Moscow-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) which also comprises Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia.
Rosselkhoznadzor’s announcement comes shortly following a no confidence vote that ousted the country’s government on 9 November, paving the way for the forming of a new cabinet.
On 22 November, Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid appointed a new government which will be led by Prime Minister Juri Ratas, who also serves as the president of the Centre Party. What is noteworthy, the party’s support traditionally comes from Estonia’s ethnic Russians. Local observers expect the new government could work towards improving Tallinn’s relations with Moscow which have remained stringent over the past years. However, Ratas has said that he supports the EU's current policy towards Russia.