World Bulletin / News Desk
Russia suspended imports of dairy products from neighbouring Lithuania on Monday, turning up trade pressure on the Baltic nation that currently holds the European Union presidency.
Russia's consumer protection agency cited quality concerns in an announcement of the suspension, which comes before Lithuania hosts a summit next month promoting closer trade ties with ex-Soviet states who are not members of the 28-country bloc.
Moscow is building its own trade alliance with former Soviet republics and is reluctant to see its neighbours, particularly Ukraine, slip further from its orbit by signing free-trade "association agreements" with the EU.
Lithuania, an EU member since 2004, has had its transport trucks held up at Russian customs for up to 20 days at a time in recent weeks, causing heavy losses for its freight industry.
The Russian consumer protection agency Rospotrebnadzor regularly denies any geopolitical motives, but past bans on products from ex-Soviet republics such as Georgia have been widely seen as a form of political pressure.
At the summit in Lithuania on Nov. 28-29, the EU is expected to sign a free trade deal with Ukraine and take further steps towards agreements with Moldova and Georgia.Last Mod: 07 Ekim 2013, 11:19