Russia's vegetable ban against WTO norms says EU© REUTERS/ Kacper Pempel
Vladimir Putin© RIA Novosti. Alexey Nikolsky
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Russia will not poison its own people by lifting the ban it imposed on vegetable imports from the European Union, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Friday, in response to protests by the EU against the move.
The European Commission said the measure was "disproportionate" and the EU's envoy in Moscow, Fernando Valenzuela, said the ban was unjustified and contradicted the rules of World Trade Organization.
"The representatives of the European Commission are saying that this decision contradicts the WTO spirit," Putin said in a rail workers' conference in Russia's Black Sea resort of Sochi.
"Frankly, I don’t know what spirit it contradicts but cucumbers which kill people - well, they really smell bad."
"We will not poison our people," Putin said. "I will personally see whether [the ban] was justified while we are waiting for more information from our European partners."
Russia suspended imports of EU-produced vegetables on Thursday in a bid to prevent an E. coli outbreak from spreading into the country.
At least 18 people have died as the result of the outbreak, centered on Germany.
Russia also accused Brussels of failing to provide sufficient information about the source of the infection.
EU envoy Valenzuela said the ban went against WTO rules, suggesting it could undermine Moscow's bid to join the world trade body.
Speaking to reporters in Moscow on Friday, Valenzuela said Russia "should be already voluntarily implementing" WTO rules in full.
"There is no point... in waiting until the very last day to do that," he said.
Valenzuela complained that the ban was affecting an important part of Russia-EU trade, saying that Russia's vegetable imports from the EU amount to 600 million euros ($869 million).
Russia, the last major economy still outside the WTO bloc, is expected to join the organization next year.
MOSCOW, June 3 (RIA Novosti)
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- severnayazemlyaBuy vegetables from Russian farmers16:39, 03/06/2011Buy locally grown vegetables from Russian farmers. Help Russian farmers.
- mrgenieWell, first you have to get your facts right23:08, 03/06/2011First:” I wouldn’t trust anyone! Radioactive and heavy metals polluted food from Russian farmers is nothing better!”
If you want good food, you don’t buy local, you buy from non-industrialized low-density populated areas!
Russian food guarantees nothing. But, that’s up to everyone for himself if heavy metals polluted food is more safe then non polluted food, where somewhere in the chain now got some bad bacteria (which btw you find on Russian food as well)
Just usually you have local small outbreaks of EHEC, nothing special.. Many people die of it in Russia, but since it is usually 1 person here, 1 person there, there is nothing special about it. People die. Period.
But obviously in Russia, even RIA Novosti, no one even knows it is NOT EHEC! In Northern Germany we’re talking about a mutated STEC! Not EHEC. Maybe not much difference for uneducated people, but for specialist it is like day and night!
Complete different toxins and complete different nesting in the human inner organs.
And it is this mutation which causes the problem. Not that EHEC itself isn’t deadly, but this one simply seems much more toxic. Mutations happen in Russia more often btw, especially around Tchelyabinsk, Majak, Tchernobyl, etc. So, it’s just statistics where the next mutation will happen, china, India, who knows?
Anyway, the ban on food is still very good. The moment something happens, you cut off all lines of the decease so it can’t spread.
But that has nothing to do with Russian food generally being better, because actually, it’s much more polluted. Just from heavy metals you don’t get outbreaks, they kill you after 40 years. Causing average lifetime to degrade. People die younger on average, but indeed no outbreaks. But surely not healthier!
- NikoROFL !04:30, 04/06/2011Concernig about Chernobyl and polluted food in Russia is tragicomical !
If this was truth, than we should urgently banned food products from Sweden, Finland, Germany, Poland, Hungary...the european countries that suffered from Chernobyl nuclear accident in Ukraine far greater than huge territory of Russian Federation.
Today there is far moore cancer and tumors worldwide from food poisoning with pesticides and cemical additives and cemical process of plant seed preparation, than from radiation of soome Ukrainian nuclear power plant accident that happened 25 years ago.
In one Coca-Cola bottle, there is far moore cemicals and poison additives, that can cause cancer or tumors... far moore than you would get it by walking near Chernobyl power plant all day !
- NikoConcernig about heavy metals04:55, 04/06/2011You can get much moore heavy metals in your body by walking and breathing smog in middle of New York streets or eating Sea food (fish, crabs, squeeds...etc).
But this obviusly is not concern to people.
They wory much moore about Chernobyl.
- Latinskywhat should do Russia ?14:04, 04/06/20111. Support local farmers
2. Some vegatables not grown at Russia and should take them from Latin america because health from europa and Russia must stop all connects and relations with turkey because turkey's alchool kill Russian tourists , vegatables is poisoned and have bacteria and viruses and they support terrorism because they are terrorist
The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.