Russia drops fruit, vegetable ban on Egypt
AFP PhotoRussia announced Sept. 26 it is dropping a brief import ban on fruits and vegetables from Egypt, after Cairo backed downed on tough restrictions on wheat that had sparked a row.
Russia’s agriculture watchdog said in a statement that following a meeting in Moscow experts from the two countries “came to an agreement to renew the delivery of all vegetables and fruit from Egypt to Russia, except for potatoes.”
A Russian ban against the importation of fruit from Egypt on sanitary grounds came into force on Sept. 22.
The dispute between the two key trading partners began in August when Egypt, the world’s top importer of wheat, refused Russian deliveries due to the presence of ergot, a common fungus that can be dangerous in large quantities, in its imports.
A day ahead of the start of the ban Egypt’s cabinet backed down from tough requirements on wheat imports, saying it would allow up to 0.05 percent ergot in grain shipments.
Moscow accused Egypt of using the issue as a “haggling” strategy at a time when Russia is primed for a bumper harvest of wheat.
Egypt imports 11 million tons of wheat a year, with the government importing five million tons a year and the remainder by the private sector.
Egyptian citrus fruit exports to Russia are worth hundreds of millions of dollars a year.