Moscow: Russia has strengthened control over the imports of Turkish foodstuffs and agricultural products, amid tensions between Moscow and Ankara over Turkey’s recent downing of a Russian fighter jet in Syria.
“Taking into account repeated violations by Turkish producers of Russian norms, the Russian government has tasked [food safety agency] Rosselkhoznadzor to reinforce control over supplies of agricultural produce and food from Turkey, as well as organize additional checks on the border and production sites in the Republic of Turkey,” Agriculture Minister Alexander Tkachev said in a statement released on Thursday.
Tkachev added that his ministry has recently been receiving complaints from consumers and industry associations concerning the safety of food and agricultural products imported from Turkey.
“The Agriculture Ministry of Russia has analyzed the situation, and I informed the Russian government that, unfortunately, an average of 15% of Turkish agricultural products do not meet Russian standards. I’m forced to say that there have been about 40 cases since the start of 2015, and traces of prohibited and harmful substances have been found in Turkish animal products,” he said.
Tkachev said, “Traces of pesticides, nitrates and nitrites that significantly exceed maximum permissible levels have also been found in fruit and vegetable products.”