Skip to comments.Russia halts Lithuania dairy imports in trade row
Posted on 10/09/2013 2:47:32 AM PDT by cunning_fish
Russia has halted imports of Lithuanian dairy produce amid tensions over EU plans to forge closer ties with ex-Soviet republics.
Russia's consumer watchdog said the levels of yeast and mould in Lithuanian dairy produce were unacceptable.
Lithuania is already involved in a bitter dispute with Russia over the cost of Russian gas, which Moscow's former Soviet bloc allies rely on.
Lithuania is leading EU efforts to sign new trade deals with those countries.
Russia's consumer watchdog Rospotrebnadzor has previously imposed various bans on food and drink imported from former Soviet neighbours, for example on wine from Georgia and Moldova, citing health concerns. In July Russia halted imports of chocolate from the big Ukrainian firm Roshen.
Such actions have been widely seen as Russia using trade to put political pressure on its neighbours.
In recent weeks Russian customs officers have imposed time-consuming checks on Lithuanian lorries on the Russian border, leading to long delays and queues.
Last week Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius warned that Vilnius could retaliate on the border with Kaliningrad, a Russian enclave surrounded by Lithuania and Poland. The city of Kaliningrad is a major port on the Baltic.
Speaking to Reuters news agency, Mr Linkevicius said: "The Kaliningrad region is isolated, geographically isolated, so we could apply some measures also to cut something".
"We could cut off trains, but not only trains, also the supply of goods, whatever. It is theoretically possible. It was not discussed, it's not our way of thinking, it's not our methods," he said.
The European Commission is investigating Russia's gas monopoly Gazprom over alleged market-rigging in Eastern Europe. Last week Lithuania's Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius said that in 2006-2012 the cost of Russian gas had soared by 600%, seriously undermining Lithuania's competitiveness.
(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.co.uk ...
title: Russia halts Lithuania dairy imports in trade row
Let me check my calendar: yeah, it was time the Lithuanians and Russians got pissed at each other again.